By Suresh Pattali
I was kind of tense. I had been sitting in this coffee shop by the Thames for quite a while. The cool breeze wafting across me and the enchanting view of a flock of seagulls cawing over tourist boats failed to calm me down. He still hadn’t turned up. It’s well past the time we had agreed upon. At the nearby tables, customers relaxed reading up tabloids and enjoying free WiFi. The heady aroma of coffee, which I had been breathing in for more than an hour, was becoming unbearable. The Thames joint as a meeting point, instead of any arty-farty gallery cafe, was chosen by him as he wanted to be away from the prying eyes of the media. My laptop and I were like Vladimir and Estragon waiting for Godot. Will he turn up? Will he be able to recognise me? How will he greet me — with a hug, a pat, or a long handshake? I tried to figure out different scenarios that could unfold when two long-lost classmates meet after a couple of decades.
Continue reading Banksy did it for charity. How’s that for creative destruction?
By Nivriti Butalia
George Orwell said, “Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie.”
There’s a lot that’s clever-funny about an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, and it’s not highbrow or inaccessible, if that’s your worry. It’s even free.
Continue reading It’s not boring or highbrow. Go see this exhibition just for fun
By Nivriti Butalia
Hannah Gadsby. Did anyone know of her before June 19th, when her show, Nanette, premiered on Netflix? I don’t know. Maybe in Australia, where she’s from, but more people (lots more people) know of her now, and with good reason.
Continue reading Football can wait. Why you should watch Nanette now
By Janice Rodrigues
One could say that talent — and a love for art — run in Sandesh S. Rangnekar’s family. But it’s not love for just any kind of art either; it’s for the kind found in the most unusual places. Sandesh’s father, artist Sadashiv G Rangnekar, was skilled in carving patterns into cuttlefish bone and creating rangolis on water. He was also well-versed in everything from oil painting to sculpture-making to embroidery. So, when Sandesh was younger, he took every opportunity he got to, forgive the pun, take a leaf out of his father’s book. Continue reading Keeping up the ancient art form of leaf drawings
By Sujata Assomull
As someone who writes about fashion, design and occasionally art, I often wonder what being a good revivalist is about. All the disciplines that I write about are based on craft and tradition. Unless a tradition is kept relevant, it dies. We keep alive the story of human life. Through these legacies and expressions of history, we provide a link to our roots — this is the importance of craft traditions. To remain relevant, you need to be innovative. And how do you make craft cutting edge, and yet stay true to the art form? Continue reading Paintings hung at the back have now moved up front
By Minal Vazirani
Looking out at the crowded New York street, the hurried columns of pedestrians dressed in grey and blue seemed to shift the city structures with their frenetic pace, while I sat — trying to be patient — for what I knew would be a thoughtful response. I was with Ram Kumar discussing his work and what altered his perception as he removed figuration from his displaced landscapes in Benaras. After a long pause, he finally smiled at me and said, quietly and confidently, “It’s what I think and imagine and then how I translate it.” He defined his painting process in simple terms, but it spoke volumes about him as a person. It was about beginning with the first glance and perception, expanding with creativity and ultimately finishing with the lyrical nuances only a poet like Kumar could infuse into his work. Continue reading A passion for landscape, poetry and what forms an inner life
By Bikram Vohra
The first comic I read was Little Lulu. Then there was Tom and Jerry. And the Disney gang led by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Also popular was The Road Runner and Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. And if comic strips were included, Peanuts and Snoopy would win hands down. Our comic collections were prized like bitcoins.
Continue reading Archie ‘coms’ stood out for me, then spaceships descended