Monday 10 March 2014

When Nature is resurgently splendid amid decay :Pirti Tamot

( Pirti Tamot working in studio )
As one gazes at the prints on display at an exhibition of Priti Tamot’s work at the Kala Parishad one is struck, first of all, by the literal and visual highpoints. As a child the artist was fascinated by a passage from kalidasa’s ‘Meghdootam’ where Megha, the cloud was told by the Yaksha that a hill from on high would resemble a woman’s breast (shades of the tortured priest in Maugham’s ‘Rain’?). This lending of a whole new perspective by a change in the observer’s position stayed with her and the ‘birds-eye view’ is the predominant perspective in her creations.

PT: The future isn’t very bright for the simple reasons that people here do not understand graphics. Most of my work is purchased by foreigners. The only thing that people in India are interested in is canvas as there is a misconception that prints (which are published on paper) do not last. I would like to say here mat a print if conversed by glass and taken reasonable care of can easily last 70-80 years. What further confounds the public is the printing of Xeroxes of printings of who wonder why they should pay, say RS 10,000, for a print when they can get a copy for a pittance. They should understand that a print is the original, not a copy.

Upon closer inspection one notices the recurrent themes of erosion and dilapidation. Of palaces and forts fallen prey to the ravages of time. These harbingers of a glorious era reclaimed by nature. The melting together of stone and creeper in such a manner they are not separate entities anymore but part of the same continuum. It is not so much nature run amok as returning to stake its claim as the rightful owner after a brief interlude by pretenders to the throne. And one can’t help but think of the magnificent monuments as interlopers. An oberration, no less so for having been cast in stone. The annexation, however, is from any element of coercion.the undulating vines slowly seducing the arches while moss plays footsie with the courtyard; a testimony to the wiles adopted by nature.
(Rare Prints by Priti Tamot)

When one is finally face-to-face with the artiste one scrutinies the forty-something lady seated across the table to discern any traces of inner turmoil or a vestigial loneliness that find expression in her work, of which decay and depredation is the leitmotif. One may as well look for meaning in an Aditya Chopra flick. Comfortably ensconced in her beautifully constructed house the lady exudes serenity and a quiet confidence. Dressed in a printed sari with her hair pulled back in a no-frills bun she seems the archetypal Hausdorff whose worst nightmares would comprise a dust- speckled mantelpiece or God forbid, roaches in the kitchen.

Meet Priti Tamot; graphic artiste extraordinaire. Honoured with a national fellowship by the government of India and winner of the 71 st annual All India Art Exhibition (AIFACS 2000) as well as the all India Art Exhibition, 2001 Tamot was the recipient of the MP state Award in 1999. Success rests lightly on the shoulders of this diminutive woman who has exhibited her works at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, Jehangir and Zen galleries in Mumbai, Bharat Bhavan, Alliannce Francaise Bhopal as well as in Europe. When asked about future plans, with touching modesty she expresses a desire to’improve’.

Born academically in lnelined parents (her father was a sanakrit professor and Amateur painter) she did her BSc and followed it up with an MA in Fine Arts from Vikram University, Ujjain. Marriage and looking after her children kept her away from her avocation initially but it wasn’t long before she succumbed to the muse. She joined the Bharat Bhavan workshop in 1988 and hasn’t looked back since.

During a lengthy chat with the Central Chronicle, interspersed with frequent trips to the kitchen for cups of steaming tea, Priti Tamot revealed many shades of her personality, the vibrancy of which is, perhaps, matched only by the hues of her palette. Excerpts from the interview:

Sk: When did you start painting?

PT: As far back as I can remember I have wanted to paint. When in Ujjain I took classes in art from Vishnu Sridhar Wakhandkar, who discovered the cave drawings at Bhimbetka. He was in the midst of his search in those days and the graphic descriptions he provided about his visits to Bhopal and surrounding areas resulted in an interest in architecture that lasts to this day

SK: were you inspired by any particular genre or artist?

PT: My role model among contemporary painters was Almelkarji who was a master at creating a plethora of details with the repetitive stroke. Detailed work has always attracted me and so jain miniatures as well as the figures of Ajanta hold a special place in my heart.

SK: Any western painters?

PT: No, not really.

SK: What made you shift from painting to graphics?

PT: First of all, it was a new medium and that is always alluring. Lots of detail in what I create, like I said, has what I have always hankered for and graphics allowed me to pursue this much more than canvas did. Things I could only dream of while working on canvas were a tangible reality while doing graphics.

(Rare Prints by Priti Tamot)
SK: The terms ‘graphic artiste’ and ‘graphics’ seem to be much misunderstood. Could you explain what exactly these means?

PT: I’m glad you brought this up. A few weeks ago I had given a detailed explanation to a gentleman from the vernacular press but he went ahead and wrote his own version. Graphic means ‘painted picture’. How it works is; drawings are made on a zinc plate with the aid of a nail polish like substance and the plate is then dipped in acid. That part of the picture, Which has been worked upon, is not dissolved when exposed to acid and further drawings are made after which the plate is again dipped in acid. This is done repeatedly with the result that those parts of the plate which have had prolonged exposure to acid acquire greater depth while those dipped only a few times remain lighter. When the plate is coloured using printing colour the hue permeates the most to the areas with the greatest depth while the lighter areas remain relatively unaffected. After this the plate is printed onto paper in the same way that is done in any printing press.

SK: Are the monuments in your pictures taken from real life?

PT: Let me say that the genesis of any print that I do lies in real life but by the  time I remix it in my head it  in my head it bears absolutely no resemblance to the original. You wont’s find the palaces depicted in my prints in Bhopal, or elsewhere. And this is how it should be.

SK:Any plans to marry painting with graphics in your quest for perfection?

PT: I am experimenting with something for a show to be held in japan soon. The thing is that if a graphic artiste works on canvas his artistic genealogy is immediately evident.

SK: what do you make of the recent trend to launch young artistes with gala openings followed by glitzy luncheons? Do you think their sales are based more on hype than on intrinsic value of their work?

PT: The publicity, bookings and all the promotional stuff is dealt with by the galleries who make 33 per cent on every sale and so I think it is unfair to blame the artiste for the ritzy openings. Then again times have changed and today everyone wants to have oodles of money so……(trails off).

SK: Painters like Hussain, Raza etc. command as tronomical prices…….

PT: (interrupts quickly) So what is wrong with that? People like Raza, Hussain, are ‘old masters’ to whom we are indebted for having gotten rid of the stigma that was attached to being an artiste. Before Hussain the general perception of a painter was that he was perennially penurious. In any art there are people who get critical acclaim and those who win popular acclaim with a tiny minority attaining both. Hussain is among this rare breed.

SK: You seem quite enamored of him

PT: on the contrary. Personally, I identify more with Raza’s paintings but Hussain’s contribution towards bettering the financial condition of artistes cannot be overstated. The way he has marketed himself is something from which all of us can learn.

SK: Have you?

PT: (A little taken aback) My material needs are very limited. Plus my husband is quite well-to-do and so I do not have to depend on the income from my work. So you could say that there is no pressure to do so.

SK: How do you see the future of graphics in India?

SK: Finally, as an artiste what do you look forward to?

PT: A time when I am better able to transfer my thoughts onto paper. What else? Perhaps getting international recognition to the same extent that I have received in India (smiles)

(Report courtesy Chronicle :Saturday Bhopal)

Friday 7 March 2014

Abstract art has come far ahead from use of conventional materials of canvas, paper and colors. It is now expressed in installations- K.L. Santosh

Abstract art has come far ahead from use of conventional materials of canvas, paper and colors. It is now expressed in installations, digital medium and so on. One of such out of the way is the work of K.L. Santosh, an artist from Mumbai. An art graduate from Sir J. J. School of Arts has a unique medium of expressing his thoughts and that is through using matchsticks on ply.
(2004 Installations work by K L Santosh)

The basic elements of his paintings are male and female. He uses matchsticks and the geometric forms made by them represent male and female. The horizontal or vertical placement of matchsticks represent male and triangle represents female. These paintings illustrate male and female relationship. He started working using matchsticks right from the days in Art college and the first creation was 'Khajuraho Night' based on the famous Khajuraho temple. He then worked on 'Krishna' his next painting where he showed one male amongst thousands of female. Here he used approximately five thousand five hundred and fifty matchsticks for female form and at the centre was an abstract image of Krishna in ceramics. This was a mixed medium. Even now his paintings are based on mixed medium and he says that from the very beginning he loved to experiment in using various mediums.

His work stands out because, unlike the basic of Abstract art where expression is formless and expressed through colors, he uses very less colors and highlight more on forms, though most of them are geometric figures. This may be because of Prabhakar Barve, the great painter whom he admires for the forms and their placement in his paintings. He also has high regards for Prabhakar Kolte.
( KL Santosh and Pritish Nandy at art gallery Mumbai 2005)

One can also find the traces of Warli paintings in his works. He reasons that there is a repetitive form in his paintings because for him repeating the same thing again and again means a total involvement with it which is like a meditation, concentration and ultimate nirvana of the soul. To put in his own words, “Like a Warli painter who depicts his life by drawing it on one background, even I try to portray my life's experiences, influences and curiosities using repetition on a single colored background.”

With his artistic progression' there emerged a change in his forms. With being more geometric in forms, of course the use of mix mediums still continues. In his 'Mumbai- Shanghai' show he made an installation called 'Why not', in which he had used the glass cover to suggest that progress is good only without neglecting nature.

These meditative paintings are very valuable in this stressful and competitive era.  

- Pankaja JK

Fandry is more then Painting and Art :coming soon review by Pankaja JK

(Donot miss : Must Watch)

Thursday 6 March 2014

Hungary for Art : Chandrakanth Ganacharya

( Installation by Chandrakanth Ganacharya)

Words  often recorded in terms of time . At the time, the creator of this intervention is to assess the level of criticism .On the art ' dialog ' is a new initiative - the eye of the creator of the term and timing speculated ... Long - term survival in dialogue plagued by contradictions between the flights of the flow and think of words that highlights significant possibilities.

In the project I used belly related proverbs and as well as publican's emotional Quotes. All the proverbs and Quotes has the philosophy of time. Those expressions comes from life experience and it will guide & taught by local seniors, intellectuals, and by philosophers.

The Installation art migrating people who force migrate for an essential needs, they know better importance of empty belly.Artist used Hotel, Canteen, Mess and Road Eating eateries for the project.

(copy right image by  Artist Chandrakanth Ganacharya)

Tuesday 4 March 2014

My works intimately weave the moments of emotion with spaces for which we cannot scramble: Farzana Ahmed Urmi

Surrounding me Form my childhood I grew up alone. My thought was surrounded by myself. So almost all the time I became engaged with my own self and my own dream. But as I grew up my surrounding too became my preoccupation, though I found it not so inimical to my personal dreams. Society creates a lot of obligations, those that help me to clear my thoughts. These are things which are involved with my own life, career, family and my personal Life. When I was allowed admission at fine arts institution I started thinking deeply about life which totally changed my philosophy of life. 
(Artist: Farzana Ahmed Urmi- Dhaka)

My views became more realistic. I came very close to people. Both known and unknown people caught my imagination. Form than on to the present day my thought became engrossed in my surrounding. For me human being as a subject became a central issue. I studied printmaking at university. But following my passing out I started working on canvas. Here I have amassed what could be seen as my achievement in the past three years. I draw energy from both real life experience and from my subjective feeling. The works that I have brought under the tile “Lost Spaces” allude to the interior world – one which we have seen the wear and tears in the last few decade. Modern life has become all about voicing discontentment and making a statement to refute one another. In this climate, I feel that art should address the silent spaces that rest between human existence and nature, between clarity and ambiguity, and even between consciousness and unconscious reckoning. Thus my works explicate a veritable desire to express the inexpressible human condition; they are like a response to the world busy in production of knowledge and discourse through which we have failed to secure a future for all. My works intimately weave the moments of emotion with spaces for which we cannot scramble. It is remembering of the way of life we are slowly losing to speed, technology and info economy.
(Artist: Farzana Ahmed Urmi- Dhaka)

Seeds of memories, feelings and sensations are sown in the field of creativity of Prakash Waghmare

Seeds of memories, feelings and sensations are sown in the field of creativity of Prakash Waghmare. In his paintings, colour performs the transformative function; it is closely linked to the psyche of the artist as the individual characteristics of colour and form evolve into a cohesive environment that speaks for itself.

In the current exposition, works on paper created by Prakash are based on his artistic journey through the refinement of elemental forms, bearing their roots in cultural stimulations that mould his conventions. One notices extensive and intriguing excavations of lines on the surface that lend their existence to create orderly patterns and grids.

Drawing inspiration from folk tradition, Prakash explores its influence through personalized paintings with an evocative mood. While interpreting the relevance of folk elements he sees their hidden connection with the fundamental shapes such as squares, triangles and circles. They, he thinks are the "kana" – backbone or armature of nature around and provoke us to meditate upon the essential visuals. It gives a constructive support to his entire act of painting. Thus he reveals the direct relation with energy that first comes into existence in the form of a square divided diagonally into triangles and then gets unfolded like a lotus representing life; the same if looked upon from a birds eye-view reveals the linear skeleton of a pyramid representing the residue of imperishable souls.

Each work reflects deep memories that have touched many phases of his life as a painter. These unforgettable memories are cherished through the silent process of Prakash's visual transformation.
Untitled : Oil on canvas before 2005

Simplicity conveys and heightens the nature of content in order to attain the purity of colour and form in his work. The ease with which he orchestrates his palette reflects the authenticity of the artist's spirit. His paintings correlate to the optical balance in the natural world and its everlasting impact as nature defines and refines itself by inbuilt defaults and external circumstances, both ways as per its need. Prakash follows nature dearly and without distance.

These unplanned structures are implemented with a sense of rusticity and natural rhythm of time. The accidental emergence of patterns appear more thoughtful, and yet thought provoking – demanding the viewers patient look which then may stimulate the mind to contemplate the essence of the spiritual reality prevailing in the artists experience.
Untitled : Acrylic on canvas before 2006

The hallmark of this collection, bereft of modern influence, continues to be the uncontrived, even 'serendipitous', occurrences in the artworks. Prakash works with and harmonizes nature and its universal accidents. While standing in front of a single piece, or reflecting on a number of works, one is set before a visual of many worlds. Optical space appears to simulate the purity of the gaze - between inside and outside, conscious and unconscious - and material or transcendent realities. Accidental happenings of patterns seem almost seems to be setting the plane in motion to prepare one's senses for a visual treat.

Here is an extract of a conversation I had with Prakash:

Why do you create art and what does it mean to you?

My art is created from a deep meditative process. It forms a reflection/impression/expression of influences from around me. It helps bridge the void between the seen and unseen worlds of my imagination.
Untitled : Acrylic and mix on canvas before 2007

What emotions do you wish to convey through this series?

The paintings that I create evolve instinctively. I have attempted to narrate how nature has influenced my style. I experience the sensitivity of form - any form. As I develop this sensitivity, these forms help me express myself naturally. This process has developed into a form of meditation, through which I try and find a path; these unseen, unimagined paths get depicted on the surface I'm painting. I believe that nature is welcoming of all who embrace it. Only when we surrender ourselves to nature can we understand and reflect it in its pure, natural state.

Untitled : Oil on canvas before 2008

How is your work a reflection of you?

My life is represented through my art. All my experiences and influences come together in my art. My sensitivity to people and surroundings get translated into my paintings. It was my experience with photography that made me realize that in a flash I could capture a moment. However, I remained curious to find a deeper realm waiting to be explored and interpreted. I was driven to exploring the world of abstraction, where sensitivity holds the key to every experience. For instance, we don't see the gush of wind that touches our skin, but we can sense it and that's how it makes its presence felt.

It can also be said that philosophy gives me the dimension to express my thoughts through my art. The search of light gives meaning to forms. As an artist I am in search of this light that feeds life and energy into my paintings.

Which artists - living or dead - have influenced you or continue to influence you? Who are the artists you relate to?

Palsikar, Gaitonde and Kolte have helped me develop my vision/ style. Their deep understanding of the subject and how they have expressed it through their art has allowed me to comprehend each of these immensely talented artists. Through my numerous discussions with Kolte Sir, I have gained profound insight into the world of abstraction. They helped me absorb and experience the works of these artists better. Just as nature allows us various experiences when we open our senses to it, insight into the works of these artists allowed me to form a bond with their art.
Untitled : Acrylic on canvas before 2010-11

As Prakash emphatically says, "I don't try to depict reality. I rely on colour, contrast and texture to convey my feelings and make things visible. My paintings are a mix of elemental forms. Images originate in fragments of personal and cultural history, in responses to travels and childhood influences. Traces of places once visited and colours seen evolve as an introspective diary of history, times and spaces. I work from within, allowing all the elements I have been gathering to come alive through my paintings."

Pranali Daundker

Art Consultant and Curator  

(Report courtesy Prakash