Friday, May 3, 2013

Atom Art, Art Check in, Art By Sea, Norman Tagore and Usha Ramachandran

Uncomfortably Numb : Investigating the Uncanny in Contemporary Times 

(Work by Shilpa Gupta)

Uncomfortably Numb, a group show of Raqs Media Collective, Prajakta Potnis and Shilpa Gupta opened at Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai on 2nd May 2013. 

The exhibition Uncomfortably Numb is a reflection on our lives, in which disorientation and anxiety are part of our everyday existence. Sigmund Freud has articulated this feeling as the “unheimlich,” or the “uncanny” in which the familiar somehow appears estranged or foreign. We live in uncertain times of catastrophe, war, and violence. Technology and media connect us to the world, but they simultaneously also intensify our feeling of alienation. Uncomfortably Numb contends this “unhomely” experience, questioning if what we consider the “uncanny” has now replaced the familiar. The show serves as a cautionary warning of the fate that awaits us…

(from TAD desk)

A Boy and his Atom - a teeny-tiny film

( a still from the tiniest movie by IBM Research Centre)

As technology advances, science finds new unexplored methods of blending into other non-scientific fields. Such is the beauty and precision of the world’s tiniest stop-motion film, made by IBM Research technologies, New York. Now we have scientists who have taken the idea of ‘short’ films very seriously and produced a film at molecular levels!

The unique one minute movie titled ‘ A Boy and his Atom’ is a one of its kind venture where art, films and technology blend to produce something never seen before, literally.

The movie is made in a sequence of 242 still images bound together, with 45 by 25 nanometers frames (25 million nanometers is one inch), magnified 100 million times to maneuver and control the movement of the carbon monoxide  and oxygen molecules at 268 degrees Celsius below zero.

The movie is captured using a two ton scanning tunneling microscope.

The film is reminiscent of early video games especially when the boy bounces the ball off the side of the frame according to the music. One may be optimistic about technology and its strong lending hand in the receptive world of visual art soon.

The movie could be watched here in this link

(report by Sushma Sabnis)

Art by the Sea - Le Sutra Festival, Mumbai

(Le Sutra Art Hotel, Mumbai)

Le Sutra Gallery, Bandra, Mumbai, hosts a three day festival titled, ‘Art by the Sea’, displaying compelling artworks by ten renowned Indian artists. There will be also present artisans from all over the country crafting and painting their own artworks based on the themes of the Three Gunas, The Kundalini and the influences in the Making of the Le Sutra Hotel.

‘Art By the Sea’ is presented at the Carter Road promenade and Amphitheatre which includes works of artists such as Nilesh Vede, Ranjit Khurmi, Vijay Belgave, Ramesh Pachpande, Prashant Salvi, Manjiri Varde, Ratnakar Ojha and Amol Pawar.  The artwork swill be on sale and the public can directly interact with the artist during the festival.

The festival commences with the curtain raiser where a sculpture by Dr Art & Design will be installed at the promenade and will be kept on display along with music programs.

A performance art in the form of Karna as a charioteer with a horse chariot will also anchor the enthusiasm of any art lover and general public alike during the duration of the festival.
The festival and show is on view form the 9th of May 2013 to the 11th of May 2013, 5pm - 9 pm.

(report by Sushma Sabnis)


Ageless Artist with an Ageless Medium

Meet Usha Ramachandran, a Trivandrum based artist. In her sixties she found out that she could do sculptures. An artist with no formal training in art, Usha is an inspiring for many who feel down in the dumps during the days of economic recession

(artist Usha Ramachandran with her works)

Little does this artist reveal about her life when she speaks to reporters and interviewers. But her silence is compensated by the eloquence of small little sculptures done by her. Her name is Usha Ramachandran and she lives in Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. An artist in her early sixties however exudes the kind of enthusiasm that is seen rare these days even amongst the artists in their twenties. Usha has been painting from life; her immediate surroundings, the people known to her, the incidents that she remembers and the beauty of nature. But it was the medium of sculpture got her due recognition as an artist.

(work by Usha Ramachandran)

A few years back, Usha happened to meet a sculptor, V.Satheesan who taught her the basics of making sculptures. With no formal artistic training to flaunt, Usha imbibed the lessons imparted to her by the young artist. Life has been different for her ever since. Her small sculptures, most of them size up not more than a foot, could be seen as the product of sheer joy that the artist feels in her and generally about the life around. If you ask her why the subjects of her works are ordinary people and insignificant incidents from mundane life she would say that she sees the fullness of life in the most mundane of things. Hence, in her sculptures we see a girl flying kite or running behind a butterfly or someone holding a banana leaf over her head to save herself from getting drenching by rain.

These sand casted bronze sculptures emblematize the joy of life; the blessing called life. There could be hundred and one problems in the society. But the artist feels that she at her age is not capable enough to eradicate those problems through rhetoric or social works. There are so many things that could make people happy and happiness does not often lie in the magnificent things, Usha believes. Through her sculptures she recaptures the moments from her childhood and makes them souvenirs of a life that has been spent fruitfully. Usha has traveled widely and painting used to be her refuge. The day she found out her modeling abilities in clay a new door was opened to her. Usha has a few solo shows to her credit. Also she has participated in some group shows. With less ambition to become a ‘national’ sculptor and more enthusiasm to work, Usha continues her creative journey like a river. And she feels that age is not detrimental for an artist in doing creative works. Mind is the strongest tool of an artist. If the mind is young rest will fall in place, Usha says.
( by JohnyML)


Norman Tagore, Goa based Artist

Love, as Norman sees it 

(self portrait by Norman Tagore)

Taking off his rose tinted glasses, Goa based artist Norman Tagore, takes a good look at what we perceive as ‘ love’ in today’s world of fast living and speed dating. His work involves imagery in a figurative, pop art style collages, also ink on paper and his intent is to unravel a fresh perspective of the basic human emotion, love.

After eons of being bombarded with love as an answer to heal all wounds and the philosophy that love conquers all, Norman’s works address the fact that love has been turned into a commodity to be used and misused. At first glance Norman’s work displays cliched imagery which has been used before in the most sensual and appealing way, but on further observation, one would be able to see the distinct irony depicted in the visual.

(painting by Norman Tagore)

Not just greeting card companies or music companies but advertising, film industry, religion and mythology, all harbour the subtle or offensively direct messages of how love as an emotion plays a pivotal role in  the very existence of an individual. Norman’s work puts together these often, in-your-face and cliched nuances that have been shaping society for eons and continue to do so even today and coerces the viewer to try and look from a detached perspective.

He sees it as a commercialization of a very gentle and subtle emotion. In some of his works, one can see the imagery of Hollywood actress, Elizabeth Taylor, who is considered the epitome of beauty, grace and love, a real life Venus, and how such symbolism and idolization, may mislead a lay person into weaving his own dreams and fantasies. The imagery in his work is varied, from pop art close ups of celebrities to sensual comic book strips which form the backgrounds of the works, where the central image seems to be melting into distortion, like the often mangled misinterpretations of the word ‘love’.

(Painting by Norman Tagore)

The romance of this kind of symbolism, about love, about living one's dream, about how emotions can set things straight irrespective of reality and rationality, and the complete dichotomy and duality of existence faced by today’s human being is what Norman’s work attempts to bring to the fore.

(by Sushma Sabnis)

ArtCheckin- A New Portal for Online Art Buyers

ArtCheckin is a socially-curated art platform for browsing, discovering and buying authenticated artwork from online galleries.

Our goal is to change the way people discover, experience and consume art by making the discovery more social, experience more engaging and buying more transparent and convenient. By using technology as an enabler, we are building tools that would empower the artist by providing a simple to use platform with tools that actually solve problem. Above all, ArtCheckin is working with art curators from around the world to promote social curating as a new way to engage today’s internet-savvy generation.

Why do we need this?

Have you ever looked at an artwork and not be sure about what you were looking at? Have you wondered about the artworks theme or its high price? Or, just wished to learn more. 

Most people do not visit an art gallery or buy artwork due to lack of knowledge or fear of uncertainty. We at ArtCheckin strongly believe that art is an important building block of our society and our goal is to make art more social and accessible. 

In order to achieve our goal, we are building a social marketplace that revolves around user-curated galleries that forms the central-point for all art and art related sales. This approach would be highly engaging and interactive, have wider reach and add a personal touch. 

How we plan to make it happen?

We believe that the art world could use some technology to communicate with today’s generation. So we are building tools that would make art more accessible.

1.Socially Curated Platform – Curated online exhibition with multiple themes, ideas and medium; all at one place and accessible with a click.

2.Smart Recommendation - Use social metric and viewer preferences to understand their art taste and make better recommendations.

3.Virtual Experience–An engaging and interactive art experience from the convenience of ones living room.

4.Secure Buying – A channel for secure and reliable buying and selling for global art sellers and buyers.

When are we going to make it happen?

ArtCheckin is currently doing a limited signup to allow artists to come and try our system. If you would like an early preview, you can signup now by going to

If you have any questions, you can reach us at

Connect with us on Facebook/Twitter 

Instead of being a closed platform, we have a  “No Artist left behind and no wall left naked” policy. Lets want to make art social and accessible to all.

(report by Atul Todi)

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