Je ne veux pas travailler

Flower Seller

We have many street vendors in Dhaka.  This flower seller’s expression caught my attention.  It’s turned out to be more aggressive mostly because of what I read into the situation and the stories that I built around him which kept me occupied when painting.

Using oils after a break.  The first painting is yet to be completed.  This one, I’m calling done.  It’s the first signed painting in 2009!

“Flower Seller”, 20″ X 22″, oil on canvas.

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I’ve been bought, I’ve been sold!

 At the market

We had the opening of our exhibition “Jhaal Muri” last night and it was a great success.  A big thanks to Sal and Nabila from Radius and Art & Soul for the arrangements.  There was a large turnout and happily most of our friends were there to lend us support.  Lots of paintings and photographs were sold including four of mine.  The Group of Five feature in the photographs below.  Images of the work on display have been posted by ace photographer Anil, here.  And you can see more of my attempts here.  

Update : November 9, 2008 : And if you’re looking for more, Nabila has put up her photographs here.

Update : November 13, 2008 : Press : 1. Jhaal Muri : Dhaka street culture in focus – article in the Daily Star. It has been picked up by 2. Bangladeshi, Indian artists focus on Dhaka’s street culture – article in the  Zimbabwe Star, 3. News from Asia Daily and 4. The Bangladesh New Network, 5. The New Nation

Update : November 14, 2008 : Flickr set : My Jhaal Muri paintings on Flickr

Guests listening to the Chief Guest        rapt audience


Ladies in Red        having fun


final layout

13th Asian Art Biennale ’08

Stop or else!

The Asian Art Biennale organised by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has been held in Dhaka since 1981.   A key art event in the region, it began with the aim of showcasing art from established and young artists portraying continuity and change.     The 13th Bangladesh Biennale is underway and I am delighted to have two of my paintings selected and one on display.

P1080579 P1080581

About the Painting (above)
Title : “Stop or else!”
Size : 24” by 30”
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Tentative. Uncertain. Afraid.

Each of us has a boiling point and when we were younger we got there faster. Experience hadn’t taught us lessons of self preservation, forbearance, good sense or patience. Hot headed, hot blooded and extremely loyal, our actions took us to the point of no return and we made a stand for better or worse. Would it have made sense to deal harshly with us then? I feel bad when I read about tasers, lathi charges, rubber bullets and what-nots. Seems inhumane and unfair. Say No to violence against students.

ekla cholo re

About the Painting
Title : “Ekla cholo re”
Size : 24” by 36”
Status : SOLD
Medium: Mixed media on canvas

Sometimes, when there is a heavy load to bear, you have to walk alone.

This painting has been inspired by Tagore’s beautiful poem in Bengali, “Ekla cholo re” (walk alone) With apologies to Tagore. mostly translations do not capture the beauty of the original piece

Walk alone

If they do not answer to your call, walk alone,

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
unfortunate one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
unfortunate one,
trample those thorns under your tread,
and along the bloodied track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light on that stormy night,
unfortunate one,
with the flame of pain ignite your heart
and let it shine alone.

I want to break free

A Womans work is never done

The words of Queens song by the same name have been playing in my head for a while now. I did want to break away from the way I was painting earlier. I didnt get to where I thought I wanted to be. Where I am now is more free (sometimes, like today) than before and I’ll be happy here for a while.

The title of this piece is “A woman’s work is never done”.  I’m at my sisters for a months holiday. She has recently had a baby boy. She also has a toddler who also wants quality time with Mummy. I see her on her feet all day and it seems to be almost all night. Everyday. It’s feeding, pumping, changing diapers, playing with the two year old, working and the list goes on. And she has help! This one is for all the women who look after their children, homes and also work. Hats off to them!

12″ X 16″ on a canvas panel.  Based on a Photo ref by Anil Advani.  Used with permission.

Point of view

kb

Learning to photograph paintings to look close to what they are in life is something I’m working on.

Take this painting for example. I took a close-up (below) first, less that a foot away and a second one (above) from a distance of around 3 ft. I found that the close-up shot had focused on surface details which you dont see while viewing even if you go up close to peer at it. In the second one the surface details have disappeared almost completely. The actual piece is closer to the image on top – you can see a bit more colour on top than is visible here.

Keeping a distance from the source and later zooming in and cropping give a more faithful copy of the original.

kb

Father and Child 2

Father & Child

There are a few subjects that never fail to inspire me. Father and child is one of them. This quick drawing made a while ago was based on a photograph in the newspaper but bears little resemblance. The look in their eyes or what I imagine to be there is what continues to draw me to this piece.

5″X7″ on handmade paper in my sketchbook

The Elusive Key

Sadhu

Everyone is looking for answers to life, its meaning, what lies ahead, who we are and the list goes on and on. Sadhus, Indian holy men, have given up domestic life, its responsibilities and pleasures to search for answers. Hoping to find the key that will unlock the door. Hoping that behind it will be answers to all those questions. Hoping that it will lead to Nirvana. Sadhus lead a very austere existence and even though he is colourfully dressed here and leaning against an equally colourful door that’s not what his life is all about.

20″ X 16″ acrylic on canvas. Photo ref copyright Sanzen used here with permission.

People watching

waiting for a fare

People watching while waiting for a fare.

10″ X 12″ acrylic on canvas.

Catching up on news

Catching up on news

It’s a fairly common sight, here in Dhaka, to spot people on the road patiently reading newspapers. These have been pasted on walls by good samaritans for those who cant afford to buy them everyday.

“Catching up on news”, 6″ X 10″ acrylic on canvas.

A new project has begun

watermelon boy 2

Planning is on for an exhibition with 4 other artists later this year and I’m looking forward to it. You’ll find the details here as soon as it is finalised. This project will have me working towards a deadline and it’s something I’m looking forward to right now. I hope when the pressure mounts I dont regret feeling this way!

Watermelons are one of the best fruits to have in summer. It quenches your thirst in a jiffy. In Dhaka, you find street vendors selling slices of the fruit near bus stops to thirsty travellers.

The Watermelon Boy 2 is digital and made with Art Rage. Based on a photo ref by Anil Advani, used with permission.