Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Halahala, Parag Sonarghare, Homelands and More


The Art of Halahala -  By Sri Sri Appupen

Gallery Five Forty Five, Bangalore, presents a show of original art, covers, and prints from the graphic novel, Legends of Halahala. The Art of Halahala  is designed by Sri Sri Appupen an alter ego/ alias of artist George Mathen.

Mathen has dabbled in various mediums and advertising before choosing to tell stories without the use of words, and depicting the entire narration through pictures and intricate imagery in his comics, and graphic novels. The word Halahala is derived by the artist’s liking of the poison Lord Shiva  ingested to save the world from being destroyed. Mathen has incorporated a world of Halahala in his novels becasue it has a sense of the dark in it.

The show displays his recent work from the silent graphic novel, ‘Legends  of Halahala’ and the exquisite artwork will be on view from the 10th of May 2013 to the 7th of June 2013.

The Pepper Cross – the colonial routes

(Pepper Cross by Subodh Kerkar)

The Pepper House, Fort Kochi, along with Art Estate present a show of recent works by Goan artist Subodh Kerkar. The show titled, ‘The Pepper Cross’ displays the artist’s works which are primarily inspired by the ocean. In this show, Subodh displays his recent sculptures, installations works and photography works which explore the role played by the ocean in intercontinental trade, cultural diffusion and how world over, civilizations flourished by these movements.

Subodh’s works are mnemonic tools for referencing history, in a varied array of subjects related to oceanic expeditions and ancient trade.

The show is open for view from the 12th of May 2013 to the 20th of June 2013.

Homelands  - be it ever so humble

The British Council and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai presents ‘ Homelands’ a 21st century approach to the concepts  of home, away and places in between. Homelands is an exhibition which explores the cultural relations and relationships between oneself and any place in the world. It addresses issues of contested territories, transition and socio-political changes faced. This art exhibition displays works of contemporary artists from the British Council collection, interpreting their homes away from their homeland.

The show is curated by Latika Gupta and 28 artists are part of this show. British artists like Mona Hatoum, Anthony Haughley, Zineb Sedira, Suki Dhanda to name a few.

The show also comprises of talk sessions and workshops on curatorial practices to reflect on ideas of Mumbai as a home.

The show is on view till the 9th of June 2013.

Call for Artists -  Liquid Cities and Temporary Identities

International ArtExpo, Bari, Italy has announced a call for artists in the field of Photography, Video Art, Computer Graphics, Painting, Performance art, for an International art exhibition, 2013, which has a specific concept mainly ‘Liquid Cities and Temporary Identities’ which basically deals with hybridization between identities and urban development.  People, societies, their backgrounds and inputs, creates hybridizations and this dynamic state of a world and its nuances and intricate networkings is what the show focuses on highlighting, through the art works on display.

The deadline for the applications for this exhibition is the 21st of May 2013. The participants need to send in their CV/ biography, videography, and some still images to The number of artworks is unlimited.

The exhibition is to be held in Espoonsilta Gallery , Finland from the 9th of June to the 16th of June 2013.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Masquerades in Painting- Parag Sonarghare

(Parag Sonarghare)

Baroda based Parag Sonarghare has curly hairs and he and his works look exotic amongst the straight haired people. JohnyML does not want to make a racist and racial statement here. But curiosity has taken him to talk about his hair. Starting from hair, the writer scans through the works of Parag Sonarghare and says that this artist has a lot of possibilities to develop as a genuine artist in the coming years.

I am looking here for a silly generalization: Do curly haired people make good art? I could see a lot of you getting up on your feet and saying that it is absolutely a rubbish statement. Let me tell you, I am not making any statement or judgement here. I have seen so many curly haired boys weirdly imaginative and severely original. So are straight haired ones. But I have not curiously looked at them. The fact is that puffed up curly hairs invite attention, in our country where straight hair is an Aryan quality, curly haired ones look exotic. Parag Sonarghare has curly hairs and he looks exotic. His works, I find are interesting. I insist that even if he had straight hairs and still doing the same kind of works, I would have considered him and his works for critical consideration.

This young man, Parag Sonarghare, having obtained his bachelors from Nagpur Fine Arts College, went to do his post graduation in painting at the fine arts faculty, M.S.University, Baroda. His works show that he belongs to a cusp generation that has been oscillating between the allure of mediatic realism and the more rebellious and fashionable cutting edge art. Parag is one of those rare young artists who have found a mid way between these two pulls. His painterly language has a lot to do with mediatic realism aka photo realism. But his thematic choices are different; he brings the sophisticated and the mundane on the same pictorial plane. He bridges the gap between the educated and the uneducated, the included and the excluded. He uses his own body as a performative platform and in the paintings he covers the body surface with tattoo like images. He incorporates digital art, painting, performance and installation in most of his two dimensional works without moving away from the conventional painterly methods.

Parag is the protagonist in most of his works. But like a Bahuroopi, he lets his body to mediate so many other characters and narratives. He evokes surprises by juxtaposing his painted body along with the normally clad people. He has a dancer’s choreographic sense; even when he stands straight and looks directly into the eyes of onlookers, his painted body vibrates with a sense of rhythm. However, he does not celebrate the male ego or virility in these paintings. By over painting his body, he divests his gender authorities and assumes a gender which goes beyond all possible genders. In some of his works, Parag fragments his body into pieces, while each piece tries its best to be a part of the whole. He looks like a sculpture that has been vandalized by time and society.

Society is a concern for Parag. But his anxieties are not ridden with angst or anger. It has a sort of detachment tinged with a sense of humour. While portraying himself as a wandering wall of pictures, a fragmented sculpture of sorts, he paints the portraits of ordinary people who have come to his life by various ways. They are from the margins of the society, often excluded from high art (recently inclusion has become quite a fashion for many but Parag had started it much before it became a fashion). Also he identifies with dogs; the love for canines does not come from his snobbish love for pets. He makes them his alternative self and indirectly tells that an artist lives a dog’s existence. He is a friend of all, he guards the society, he loves the masters but he is always treated as a dog.

Parag Sonarghare does performances and other collective activities with artists and friends. Often he takes the experience of these into his paintings. His has created an iconic image for himself and it is yet to become a part of our contemporary art history. The major conflict would be between photo realism and his aspiration to develop an alternative language for himself. So far his efforts have been successful. In the coming years, let’s hope Parag would come up with many more interesting works.

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