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Posts Tagged ‘Indian artist’

India artist Raghava KK’s “magic carpet ride” at TED2010 – video

Posted by artradar on June 16, 2010


INDIAN ART ARTIST TALK TED CONFERENCE VIDEO PUBLIC SPEAKING

Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist (length of video, 17:56 mins) was recorded when Indian artist Raghava KK spoke at ideas conference TED2010 earlier this year. In the video, the artist tells an inspiring story of how art took him to new places, and talks about the different stages of experience which led him to become the artist he is today. He gives the viewer an insight into the concerns of today’s young artists and into the processes of contemporary art making. Raghava is a self-taught artist and who began his career as a newspaper cartoonist. At the age of 27, he is already one of India’s most celebrated emerging artists.

Raghava KK, Colossal Sleeper, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Colossal Sleeper, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava starts the talk by speaking of his childhood. He started his artistic journey during his second grade, but it was abruptly stopped when he was caught drawing a bust of a Michelangelo nude by a school nun. In the ninth grade, he started drawing again. Although afraid of getting caught, Raghava drew a flattering portrait of his school principal, which he gave to him as a gift. Following this, Raghava’s caricatures shot him to popularity within his school.

I think it was in my second grade that I was caught drawing the bust of a nude by Michelangelo. I was sent straight away to my school principal, and my school principal, a sweet nun, looked at my book with disgust, flipped through the pages, saw all the nudes. You know, I’d been seeing my mother draw nudes and I’d copy her, and the nun slapped me on my face and said, ‘Sweet Jesus, this kid has already begun.’

I had no clue what she was talking about, but it was convincing enough for me never to draw again until the ninth grade. Thanks to a really boring lecture, I started caricaturing my teachers in school. And, you know, I got a lot of popularity. I don’t play sports. I’m really bad at sports. I don’t have the fanciest gadgets at home. I’m not top of the class. So for me, cartooning gave me a sense of identity.

As Raghava continues with his story he mentions his family. He talks fondly of how much of an inspiration his mother was, how she taught him how to draw and how to love. Raghava also talks about his father’s holistic approach to living.

Raghava KK, Lady after bath, 2001, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Lady after bath, 2001, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

The artist eventually quit school to pursue a career as a cartoonist, which he felt gave him a sense of purpose. His popularity rose, he soon became a media star in India, and he caricatured hundreds of celebrities. For him cartooning was addictive; he was in love with the rush.

Of course, Raghava has known success and failures and he cherishes his failures the most. After drawing a cartoon about 9/11, he was banished from a cartoonists’ organisation in America, and it was with this that he realized there is a responsibility that comes with art.

The next slide I’m about to show you is a little more serious. I was hesitant to include this in my presentation because this cartoon was published soon after 9/11. What was, for me, a very naive observation, turned out to be a disaster. That evening, I came home to hundreds of [pieces of] hate mail, hundreds of people telling me how they could have lived another day without seeing this. I was also asked to leave the organisation, a cartoonists’ organisation in America, that for me was my lifeline. That’s when I realized, you know, cartoons are really powerful. Art comes with responsibility.

Following this “failure”, Raghava became concerned about his financial circumstances. He decided to quit his job and travel. Along the path he met an artist who inspired him to stop being a cartoonist and become a full time artist himself.

“He invited me to his studio. He said, ‘Come and visit.’ When I went, I saw the ghastliest thing ever. I saw this dead, naked effigy of himself hanging from the ceiling. I said, ‘Oh, my God. What is that?’ And I asked him, and he said, ‘Oh, that thing? In the night, I die. In the morning, I am born again.’ I thought he was cuckoo, but something about that really stuck. I loved it. I thought there was something really beautiful about that. So I said, ‘I am dead, so I need to be born again.'”

Raghava KK, Many sides of the mask, 2006, Venice-Suite, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Many sides of the mask, 2006, Venice-Suite, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

His early painted works demonstrate a complete break with his cartoon career. He painted watercolors on canvas using both his hands and feet and during his talk he shows footage of the making of several artworks. Later he moved into performance art and, wanting to make his pictures come alive, he asked his friends to paint their bodies and dance in front of the paintings.

“I had this crazy epiphany at two in the morning. I called my friends, painted on their bodies, and had them dance in front of a painting. And, all of a sudden, my paintings came alive. And then I was fortunate enough to actually perform this in California with Velocity Circus. I sat like you guys there in the audience and I saw my work come alive. You know, normally you work in isolation, and you show at a gallery, but here, the work was coming alive, and I had some other artists working with me.”

Raghava’s later artworks were darker than his previous paintings, due to his mother’s illness. In his own words, his art work “turned ugly” and he lost his audiences. Some of his works became autobiographical. When a friend’s sexuality was criticized in India he began to create violent and political artwork.

“So, after this, my works turned a little violent. I talked about this masculinity that one need not perform. And I talked about the weakness of male sexuality.”

After witnessing what a huge impact art can have on society, Raghava made the decision to stop painting and performing. He had lost collectors and was constantly being threatened by political activists. He decided to move back to New York where his artwork changed, even hinting at street art influences.

“Everything about my work has become more whimsical. This one is called What the Fuck Was I Thinking? and it talks about mental incest. You know, I may appear to be a very nice, clean, sweet boy. But I’m not. I’m capable of thinking anything. But I’m very civil in my action, I assure you. These are just different cartoons.”

Raghava KK, Blow me kisses, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Raghava KK, Blow me kisses, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Over the years, Raghava has reinvented himself using several different mediums. He professes to having a greater sense of responsibility and a knowledge of arts’ ability to affect peoples’ lives. For him, his art is a magic carpet ride and he wants everyone to ride with him.

Watch the video, “Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist” (length of video, 17:56 mins).

JAS/KN

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Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist
In this video “Five lives of an artist”, Raghava KK tells
the story of being an artist, how art took him to new
places and the different stages of experiences, which
led him to what he is now. Raghava is a self-taught
artist and who started his career originally as a
newspaper cartoonist. At the age of 27, he is already
one of India’s most celebrated, emerging artist.
With endearing honesty and vulnerability Raghava captured the TED audience’s attention. He did
nothing more than tell his story, a tale of several lives wrapped into one. Raghava starts his
journey by telling a little bit of his childhood. Everyone’s life starts with school seasons and with
inspiring teachers. Raghava started his artistic journey during his second grade, but it abruptly
stopped when he was caught drawing a bust of a nude by Michelangelo by a school nun. In the
ninth grade, he started drawing again. Drawing a flattering portrait of the school principal that he
gave to him as a gift, Raghava soon became popular with his caricatures.
“I think it was in my second grade that I was caught drawing the bust of a nude by
Michelangelo. I was sent straight away to my school principal, and my school principal, a sweet
nun, looked at my book with disgust, flipped through the pages, saw all the nudes — you know,
I’d been seeing my mother draw nudes and I’d copy her — and the nun slapped me on my face
and said, “Sweet Jesus, this kid has already begun.”
I had no clue what she was talking about, but it was convincing enough for me never to draw
again until the ninth grade. Thanks to a really boring lecture, I started caricaturing my teachers
in school. And, you know, I got a lot of popularity. I don’t play sports. I’m really bad at sports. I
don’t have the fanciest gadgets at home. I’m not on top of the class. So for me, cartooning gave
me a sense of identity. I got popular, but I was scared I’d get caught again. So what I did was I
quickly put together a collage of all the teachers I had drawn, glorified my school principal, put
him right on top, and gifted it to him. He had a good laugh at the other teachers and put it up on
the notice board. (Laughter) This is a part of that. And I became a school hero. All my seniors
knew me. I felt really special.”
As Raghava continues with his story he mentions his family. He tells fondly of his mother and
how she taught him how to draw, but also how to love. About his father’s holistic approach of
living and moreover about how he quit school to pursue a career as a cartoonist. Cartooning gave
him a sense of purpose. His popularity rose and surely caricatured over hundreds of celebrities. It
was addictive and being in love with the rush, he soon became a media star in India.
Raghava has known success and failures, but he cherishes his failures the most. After drawing a
cartoon about the 9/11, he was banished from the cartoonists’ organization in America. It was
from that moment that he realizes the responsibility that comes with art.
“The next slide I’m about to show you, is a little more serious. I was hesitant to include this in
my presentation because this cartoon was published soon after 9/11. What was, for me, a very
naive observation, turned out to be a disaster. That evening, I came home to hundreds of hate
mails, Hundreds of people telling me how they could have lived another day without seeing
this. I was also asked to leave the organization, a cartoonists’ organization in America, that for
me was my lifeline. That’s when I realized, you know, cartoons are really powerful, art comes
with responsibility.”
Giving us an insight into the concerns of today’s young artists and processes of contemporary artmaking,
Raghava was concerned of his financial lifeline. Not only has that, but also of the works
that exposes a range of issues relating to the society and the world. The next step he takes is
quitting his job and decides to travel. Along the path he meets an artist who inspires him to
become an artist.
“He invited me to his studio. He said, “Come and visit.” When I went, I saw the ghastliest thing
ever. I saw this dead, naked effigy of himself hanging from the ceiling. I said, “Oh, my God.
What is that?” And I asked him, and he said, “Oh, that thing? In the night, I die. In the morning,
I am born again.” I thought he was koo koo, but something about that really stuck. I loved it. I
thought there was something really beautiful about that. So I said, “I am dead, so I need to be
born again.”
His early work as a painter made a complete break with his cartoon career. He painted
watercolors on canvas using only his hands and feet. Showing videos of making several art
works, the scene later changes to how he suddenly works with performing arts. Wanting the
pictures to come alive and dance, he asks his friends to paint their bodies and dance in front of
the paintings.
“So I decided — I had this crazy epiphany at two in the morning. I called my friends, painted on
their bodies. and had them dance in front of a painting. And, all of a sudden, my paintings came
alive. And then I was fortunate enough to actually perform this in California with Velocity
Circus. And I sat like you guys there in the audience. And I saw my work come alive. You
know, normally you work in isolation, and you show at a gallery, but here, the work was
coming alive, and it had some other artists working with me.”
Raghava’s later art works were darker than his previous works, due to his mother’s illness. Along
the road, he decided to explore the darker side of the human mind. Because of it, his art work
turned ugly and he lost his audiences. Some of his works became autobiographical. It also
became more violent and political, due to a friend’s sexuality that was criticized in India.
“So, after this, my works turned a little violent. I talked about this masculinity that one need not
perform. And I talked about the weakness of male sexuality.”
Having experiences of how an art can have a huge impact on the society, Raghava had to stop
with his productions. Not only losing his collector, he was also banned and threatened by political
activist. He decides to do something different and thus tells us of his last steps of being reborn.
Just becoming a father, he also got the news of his mother recovering, as well of the election of
India’s new president. Upon the decision of moving back to New York, his art work changes and
becomes whimsical.
I moved back to New York, my work has changed. Everything about my work has become
more whimsical. This one is called “What the Fuck Was I Thinking?” It talks about mental
incest. You know, I may appear to be a very nice, clean, sweet boy. But I’m not. I’m capable of
thinking anything. But I’m very civil in my action, I assure you. (Laughter) These are just
different cartoons.
Over the years, Raghava would reinvent himself to use several different mediums. Coming back
to art, you learn of having a greater sense of responsibility and knowing its ability to affect
peoples’ lives. To that Raghava finishes his speech off with,
“For me, my art is my magic carpet ride. I hope you will join me in this magic carpet ride, and
touch children and be honest. Thank you so much. (Applause)”
Watch the Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist here. (Length of video, 17:56 mins)
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Posted in American, Cartoon, Children, Drawing, Emerging artists, Family, Indian, Installation, Painting, Street art, Videos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Indian artist Reena Kallat’s work mutates in Mumbai

Posted by artradar on January 8, 2009


 

Reena Kallat Crease Crevice Contour

Reena Kallat Crease Crevice Contour

FEMALE ARTIST INDIA

Delhi-born and Mumbai-based artist Reena Saini Kallat (1973), wife of auction star Jitish Kallat, presents  Silt of Seasons at Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai until 17 January 2009. Her chosen media have ranged from bonded marble to fabric and this love for experimentation has given her portfolio an enviable range, which in turn has made her one of Indian contemporary art’s more successful exports says Time Out Mumbai.

Her work has been included in significant survey shows including Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art and Mori Art Museum, Japan 2008, India Moderna in Valencia Spain 2008. As an established and internationally-collected artist it is curious that

Saini Kallat is showing a set of works that have been shown in galleries abroad but will be seen for the first time in India (except for “White Heat” and a sewing machine made of bonded marble, which is a new piece).

The exhibition has video works, sculptures and a set of standing works that hover between sculpture and painting. They seem to be large portraits until a closer look reveals them to be made of rubber stamps. Each stamp has a name which is from actual lists of missing persons across the country. See it from the back and the tops of the stamps stand like a battalion of pawns from countless chess sets. “I wanted to make all those names that have been forgotten be remembered again,” she said.

Over the years since her debut in 1998 Kallat’s body of work has mutated and now

Ten years after her first solo show, Reena Saini Kallat almost seems surprised by her own evolution. “One never thought of making art that was political or critical when one was young but I wonder now whether it’s possible to not let that happen,” she said.

Past interests included

In her debut in 1998, she explored the family.

For her 2004 show Black Flute and Other Stories, Saini Kallat painted a world of myths that made pointed references to contemporary demons.

In 2006, Saini Kallat represented colonial history through the works in Rainbow of Refuse.

reena-kallat-lunar-notes1
In another series of similar works, she recreates designs from Agra’s Taj Mahal with rubber stamps. The stamps bear names of labourers who worked on the monument. “It was a discovery for me when I found them in archives because we’ve grown up with textbooks telling us the labourers were nameless and their hands were chopped off but actually they had the right to inscribe their names on what they created,” she said.

Naming and stamping and its associations of identity and control are recurring motifs in this exhibition

Names taken from the peace petition appear on a 10-part photographic work that looks at the idea of motherland and the shifting line of control in Kashmir. They are stamped in red ink, which makes some names look like they’re the mark of something rejected by a government officer or a bleeding bruise. The video work also shows names being written in sand and then being blown away. In another set of photographs, an hourglass has in it grains of rice with names of farmers who have committed suicide written on them. The touristy frivolity of writing names on rice contrasts sharply with the grimness of the farmers’ fate.

Time Out Mumbai 

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Posted in Emerging artists, Gallery shows, Human Body, India, Indian, Names, Photography, Sculpture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Singapore artist Yeo Chee Kiong’s installation wins ‘richest’ Asian art prize – Bloomberg

Posted by artradar on November 4, 2008


INSTALLATION ART PRIZE

Yeo Chee Kiong won the S$45,000 ($30,793) inaugural APB Foundation Signature Art Prize (images on website) for his installation “A Day Without a Tree,” originally shown last year at Singapore’s National Museum.

Yeo’s mixed-media work greeted visitors to the building, built in 1887, with what looked like a large puddle of white paint dripping from the walls as the columns of the four-story- high atrium melted. Yeo won the grand prize, the richest in Southeast Asia, sponsored by the Singapore Art Museum and Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., maker of Tiger beer.

Yeo, born in 1970, said he decided to create a work based on the classical architecture because the museum was celebrating its 120th anniversary at the time of his installation.

“I tried to present something that you are not sure of,” he said in an interview at the Singapore Art Museum.

He declined to explain the work or its title.

“My position is not to tell you what it is. You have to figure that out for yourself,” he said.

Yeo was chosen from a shortlist of 12 artists from the region, including Malaysian Ahmad Fuad B. Osman, China’s Zheng Bo and India’s G.R. Iranna, who all won S$10,000 jurors’ choice awards. Mongolia’s Davaa Dorjderem won S$10,000 for the people’s choice, selected by online voters.

The award is part of a 15-year partnership between APB and the Singapore Art Museum signed a year ago. The APB Foundation has committed S$2.25 million in funding for the prize, which will be awarded every three years.

The 10 shortlisted works are on view at the Singapore Art Museum until Nov. 16.

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Posted in Chinese, Indian, Installation, Malaysian, Museum shows, Museums, Prizes, Singapore, Singaporean | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Royal Academy announces Anish Kapoor retrospective London 2009

Posted by artradar on October 27, 2008


 

INDIAN SCULPTURE

Anish Kapoor is having a busy year. His work commanded one of the top 10 prices achieved at Sotheby’s Contemporary Day Sale at Bond Street London on July 2 2008. His summer survey in ICA Boston ended September 2008 but now Royal Insitute of British Architects holds an exhibition of his models and the British Royal Academy of Arts announces it will hold a major retrospective of his work in September 2009. For details and reviews of the RIBA show and links to information about the Royal Academy retrospective see below.

Place/No Place: Anish Kapoor in Architecture
to 08 November 2008
From an early stage in his career Anish Kapoor has worked closely with architects and engineers on a number of major works. Get a rare and fascinating insight into many of these key projects with an exhibition of his architectural models, many of which have never been displayed to the public before.

Included in the exhibition are models for projects such as Taratantara at the Baltic with Neil Thomas of Atelier One (1999), the Salvation Army Visitor Centre with John McAslan and Partners (unbuilt, 2001), the entrances for the Naples Subway with Jan Kaplicky and Future Systems (2008) and an as yet unrealized project with Cecil Balmond.

 

Mon-Sat 10am-5pm except Tues 10am-9pm
Venue: Gallery 1, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Review – Independent, UK

Anish Kapoor is extremely keen on vaginas. In his new exhibition, they’re everywhere. Here a chasm, there a crack, over there an abyss that takes you plunging into a void. This, clearly, is a man who’s read his Freud. But what goes down must come up and he’s extremely keen on giant structures too. Taratantara, his “building turned inside out” project at Gateshead’s Baltic Flour Mills, was 35 metres tall. Marsyas, his massive PVC earphone, filled the Tate Modern Turbine Hall. Temenos, an installation in the Tees Valley, announced this summer, will, at almost 50m high, be part of the biggest public art initiative in the world. Who said size doesn’t matter?
The exhibition, in fact, is tiny. It’s like a little Legoland version of Anish world, a world in which giant mirrors sit in city squares, reflecting skyscrapers and sky, or on beaches, reflecting the crashing waves of the sea, and in which massive structures on hillsides overshadow tiny pathways beckoning you into the dark womb inside. Some are “real”, out there, on real hillsides and in real cities all over the world, some are planned, and some, so far, are just a twinkle in the really quite twinkly Kapoor eye. Read more

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