Browsing: Art

5 Contemporary Indian Art – Image of the Day – Ram Darwaza

This mesmerizing image by the artist Anil Revri is called Ram Darwaza – and you wonder why.
“These works pay homage to my mother. A leading exponent of the classical Indian Dance forms of Bharat Natyam and Kuchipudi she had, in her final days, expressed a great desire to be able to enter into one of my geometric compositions, and, accompanied by Lord Rama, dance her way into the distant horizon.”
This painting has just been acquired by the Asian Art Museum in Berlin.

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4 The Ghosts of Colonial Calcutta

Calcutta was once known as ‘City of Palaces’ and in the days of the British Raj there were opulent buildings built by the rulers as well as the Bengal elite. Today many of these grand structures are in decay and a passionate chronicler of these disappearing stories is Prabir C. Purkayastha, award-winning photojournalist who tells evocative tales through his camera.
Purkayastha was recently in New York where the Sundaram Tagore Gallery showcased Stories in Stone: Colonial Calcutta, images which tell the story of grand edifices in decline.

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0 Bollywood & Contemporary South Asian Art – A Love Match?

Bollywood may be loved by the frontbenchers in Indian cinema halls but it has friends in high places too – the elite world of contemporary art. There is just something about the surreal, over-the-top world of masala films and item dance numbers that strikes a chord in the more rarified world of contemporary Indian art.

A new show ‘Cinephiliac’ at Twelve Gates Art in Philadelphia, PA, checks out this phenomenon with the work of emerging as well as noted artists, a creative dialogue between art and film. This new exhibition reinforces these influences and shows the work of both Indian and Pakistani artists, for the effect of Bollywood cheekily crosses borders and permeates different cultures.

2 SAWCC: The World of South Asian Women Artists

Fifteen years ago an art exhibition in New York was presented by a nascent organization called South Asian Women’s Collective (SAWCC). The exhibition was appropriately enough called (un)Suitable Girls. Fast forward fifteen years and I’m once again at an art exhibition, this time called ‘Her Stories’ commemorating 15 years of SAWCC. It presents the creative works of more than 100 diasporic South Asian women artists, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, and writers, with an installation of archival photographs, publications, and ephemera.

0 Roberto Custodio: It’s All About Reincarnation

What is art exactly? In a throw-away world where material things lose their value all too soon, the Brazilian artist Roberto Custodio celebrates art as reincarnation, art as renewal of the spirit. Old, discarded magazines become the building blocks of his art, as he picks and chooses images and bits and pieces of different worlds to juxtapose a totally new reality, a fresh take on things.

A ragpicker of the soul, Custodio creates a gorgeous puzzle of tiny shards from different lives and invites you into a whole new universe. His earlier work from found and discarded publications brought into existence a whole pantheon of Hindu Gods from Brahma and Shiva to Krishna and Kali. Now in his latest exhibition ‘Your Royal Highness’ he turns his attention to powerful women from queens to courtesans – and yes, even a maharani.

0 Princes & Painters in Mughal Delhi – Last Look

“Delhi was once a paradise,

Where love held sway and reigned;

But its charm lies ravished now

And only ruins remain.”

So wrote Bahadur Shah Zafar, poet and art patron, the last of the great Mughal emperors, as the mighty empire of his forefathers dissolved and the new rajahs arrived in town, the East India Company traders who were fast evolving into the new Colonial masters.
Those times are long gone, and Delhi, the spunky never-say-die city which re-invents itself after each invasion, is thriving once again.

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0 Meet the Master Painters of India

Modern day iconic artists like the late MF Husain, FN Souza or Tyeb Mehta are the rock stars of the Indian art world and you see their celebrity status reflected at art biennales and gallery openings, and in the high prices their work commands in the auction houses. They are the superstars, the rajas of any social event, the focal point of international culture. Everyone knows their name.

Yet there is another set of artists who never achieved fame in their lifetime, and whose names no one knows. We are talking of the superb master painters who lived and worked from 1100 to 1900, who rarely signed a canvas with their own names, and who lived and died in anonymity.
They created some of the most magnificent works for emperors, maharajas and the nobility, and yet today no one knows their names or faces.

0 Tracking Anonymous Indian Master Artists

“We want to give a sense, an understanding that these works produced by anonymous craftsmen in dimly lit backrooms – these were very creative individuals responding to a particular place and time and their response to the subject matter and the demands of their patron – all those things went into the mix.” Curator John Guy, Metropolitan Museum of Art

10 Roberto Custodio: Finding God

Who has ever seen the face of the Almighty? Does He wear a peacock feather in His hair or perhaps a coiled snake around His neck? Is the Omnipresent a many-armed powerful Goddess with green eyes or a gentle, golden Madonna and Child?

East and west blend in the surreal works of Brazilian artist Roberto Custodio in which blue-eyed Gods and beauty queen goddesses preside, and the flora and fauna of many continents merge. He creates magic worlds from found materials and paper clippings, discarded consumer magazines which he recycles to create his own truths.

0 When Vishnu came to the Brooklyn Museum

Want to make some spiritual gains and rub shoulders with Gods and Goddesses? The place to go for darshan is the Brooklyn Museum because here you get to meet not one, not two but all ten avatars of Vishnu, Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior.

“Vishnu – one of Hinduism’s most important and powerful deities – is the Great Preserver, vanquishing those who seek to destroy the balance of the universe,” writes Joan Cummins in ‘Vishnu – Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior.’ Indeed, the time looks ripe for Vishnu’s avatar to come to earth…

A chat with Joan Cummins, who is the Curator of South Asian art at Brooklyn Museum.

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