An Enchanted Passage - Shruti Nelson 2011

Text by Jasmine Shah Varma on Shruti Nelson’s 2011 solo show

Life is both mundane and fantastic, material and ethereal. In Shruti Nelson’s work, the two meet. Her latest series of works, on both paper and canvas, creates a meeting ground of the worldly concepts of glamour and luxury on the one hand, and the untamed fantastical on the other.

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Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again

The words work as a lament, for what has been lost – or as the hope for a better future. We see both these perspectives, and many shades of gray, in this 13-artist group show. Some artists have painted from personal experiences. Others have addressed larger issues of social, environmental and political significance.

In what circumstance do you find yourself saying Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again?

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Shadows, Dreams & Forms - Soumen Das

Soumen’s works are inspired by the architecture of forts, palaces, ordinary houses and buildings. He engages the landscape and topography of his surroundings with his feelings and dreamy memories attached to those places. Some physical details and attributes of the structures in the paintings may bring to mind the places he is inspired by, but his intention is not representation.

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Long on Logic - Haren Vakil

There is an order in chaos and what seems to lack reason contains logic of its own. This describes Haren Vakil’s paintings and drawings. One is so used to conventional reflexes when it comes to seeing, hearing and reasoning that everyday absurdities seem reasonable. For instance, how would one explain the actions of some Mumbaikars who regularly cross the railway tracks at a risk to their life instead of using the footbridge? There’s an absurd need to save time rather than one’s life.

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Man is made of his desires

Review of Chinmoy Pramanik’s ‘Germs’ appeared in ‘Art & Deal’ magazine in 2007

Desire is central to human nature. And things are central to desires.
Chinmoy Pramanik encapsulates human tendencies and pattern of life by portraying sundry objects like bullets, capsules, wine glasses, hammers, scissors, pliers, stools, pants, bottles and coffins in his sculptural works. In Germs, his first solo show at Bangalore’s GallerySke Pramanik summarises his observation of the cycle of life and man’s dependence on material things.

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Debraj Goswami – Visual Satirist

This article appeared in ‘Art & Deal’ in 2006

Debraj Goswami’s paintings seems like scenes from The Adams Family. Objects appear like they have been put through magic spells as they transform from being ordinary to peculiar. Two solo shows held in 2006, ‘My Experiments with Half Truths’ at Gallery Chemould in Mumbai and ‘Recyled Masterpieces and Etc’ at Gallery Threshold in Delhi gave a view into the world of Debraj’s thoughts. With these exhibitions behind him he is settled with a well defined visual armory.

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Is Photography Art?

This feature was published in ‘24K’ in 2009

The camera is one of the most democratic tools of making or taking pictures. Yet there are select pictures that sell for millions and then there are millions of photographs that are forgotten in family albums. What’s the criterion that makes a photograph of a crowded departmental store sell for over $3.3 million? That’s how much was paid for contemporary German photographer Andreas Gursky’s ‘99 Cent II Diptychon’ (2001) in an auction by Sotheby’s in November 2006. It’s the highest price paid for a photograph yet.

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Minal Damani - Profile

This profile appeared in ‘Elle’ November 2010

It must be fun living inside Minal Damani’s head. Minal is a 31-year-old artist who describes her work as “imagery of a fabricated world, where the real and the imaginary co-exist without lines of separation.” Unlike many other artists, she doesn’t look for social or political narratives in her work—it’s more personal than that. “My works are about creating filled spaces,” she says.

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Technician of Perception

An interview with Baiju Parthan

Baiju Parthan had a solo showing of large paintings on canvas after a gap of four years at Mumbai’s Museum Gallery and later at Art Musings through September and October. ‘Source Code’ shows the continuation of Parthan’s preoccupation with spheres of physics, botany, history and mythology. In this interview he discusses his thoughts and processes behind his chosen subjects, motifs and overall work.

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A royal palette

Published in ‘The Times of India’ 2005

In a discussion on the greatest Indian portraitists from early 20th century the names of Raja Ravi Varma, Dhurandhar and Pithawala among some others crop up. One more name of significance that henceforth will be taken is Vamanrao Pandit (1882 – 1941). Son of a renowned scholar of Sanskrit and prime minister of Porbandar Rao Bahadur Dr Sir Shankarao P Pandit, Vamanrao was born with the skill for portraiture, which was later honed by no lesser tutors than two of the most celebrated artists of Europe Philip de Laszlo and John Singer Sargent.

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Interview with Jehangir Sabavala

An interview on the occasion of Jehangir Sabavala’s 35th solo show for the Bombay Art Society – Art Journal published in 2008

At the age of 86 most people, whichever field they belong to, would rest easy if they have achieved their goals. They say the field of arts has no age limits and one could be compelled at any age to accomplish more. Though not all are compelled for it is an even greater struggle to push the envelope after one has accomplished.

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50 Revolutions around the sun - Nikhil Chaganlal

Published in catalogue by Art Musings, Mumbai for Nikhil Chaganlal’s solo show, December 2011

Portraiture today is thought of mostly in the context of photography. But before cameras replaced the need for painters to capture an individual for posterity, the genre had a rich and complex history.

Nikhil Chaganlal revisits the genre to freeze human emotions, moods and intangible qualities that he cherishes rather than represent physical attributes of individuals. Making portraits is the formally untrained artist’s childhood passion, and has led to a signature style, alongside his interior series.

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A Social Panorama

Published by The Viewing Room in the catalogue for Gurcharan Singh’s ‘Twilight Tales’

We love to watch other people. It is a basic human tendency to observe and speculate on fellow humans, and we watch them all the time: in airports, malls, hotel lounges, doctor’s clinic, out on the street. We judge them based on how they dress and talk, we imagine their occupations and love lives, and we put them in categories and boxes in our mind. Gurcharan Singh has turned this from a private voyeuristic act into a grand artistic preoccupation: his latest suite captures a panorama of individuals in various social settings.

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Nandini Valli Muthiah, Photographer

“Even the most mundane things art Interesting when an outsider sees them”
Published in Elle, November 2011

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Ranjani Shettar, artist

“It’s beautiful when you come upon something you think is impossible and yet you make it possible”
Published in Elle, November 2011

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