Monday, June 08, 2009


Somenath Maity/ Structures/Jehangir Art Gallery.

Its the colors that draw you in. Light fireworks in your brain.
Amazing strokes of oranges and reds.
Once you've regained your breath and found your feet after the shock suddeness of it all, you begin to look at the details.
The shanty resting by a tall glass and chrome tower. The hut is on earth, the tower seems to lead to the sky.
The lane that leads beyond the building, and beyond you're sure it twists and turns and curves impossibly before leading on to who knows where.
That line of lamps on the water, and a bright-lit niche in the dark, past all the blues and blacks, so dark, why is it brightly lit?
There are hints of a nameless mystical, in the domed structure with a flag swishing atop,in the block of a building by a fort.
Why are there no titles? I ask. Because a title limits, draws a boundary- this way you think.
He stands in front of a blank canvas and then the colors explode and overtake, and he sees what he sees. There is a child-like simplicity, a honesty that's clean.
Go there if you're prepared to think.
Go there if you can see beyond.
Go and see the thesis encapsulated in a hint of a line.

Ashok Mody/ Images of the Mahatma/ Jehangir Art Gallery
"Minimalist realism" is how Mr Mody, an architect and a self taught painter, describes his canvases.
In a few strokes he has captured the directness and simplicity of Bapu.
You wait a few feet away from the canvas and wait for the lines to come together and speak.
This is graphic art in the way the bold lines speak, this is also modern art, in knowing which lines to pick and strengthen.
The canvas of a young, turbaned Gandhiji, the version one saw if only on the screen- the pics after his return from South Africa - has a clarity of purpose the old man would have approved of.


After these brainstorms, fuel for the soul, I walked through Chor Bazaar, the thieves' market.
Which is rather like a flea market.
Amazing antiques. Some made-as- antiques.
Film posters. Glassware. Clocks. Furniture. Crockery.
All arranged as and when is.
A writing desk took away my heart.
Tons of photos were taken.

So that's how I spent saturday, traveling cattle class to town.
I hope that lady who was going to a holy place to present her mannat to the soul of the holy person who once resided there, the pir, finds her wishes blessed.

7 comments:

Mumbai 58 said...

Can we all share a Saturday like that please.

mark said...

the colors..yes..the gallery.. made me recall a bit of a poem you once wrote:

Green lawn, blue pool embroidered in white
At the shallow end a child gambols, laughs
Her mother, amused
Watches through outsized sunglasses
The sun an orange orb, van gogh.

austere said...

Thank you so much, Mumbai-58.
I do the weirdest things on that precious first sat. off.


mark- I'm amazed you remember that. ty.

PQ said...

I like the photograph of the gallery...you have a good way of capturing stuff, be it with pictures or with words. :-)

austere said...

PQ- :) ty

quin browne said...

mark~thank you for sharing that bit of her work... it stunned me.

it shouldn't, as i know her to be a painter of words so rich your world grows fat reading them.

austere said...

quin, mark- don't know what to say- ty.