At the Market

At the market

This is the kind of market I remember from my childhood.  While I cant cope with the bargaining that shopping in such markets entails, its great to visit one once in a while.  Recently went to Karwan Bazaar in Dhaka with two friends to take some photographs to capture the hustle and bustle, vivid colours and the vitality of such markets.

12″ X 16″ acrylics on Canvas Panel.  Photo ref copyright Anil Advani.  Used here with permission.


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.



I’m back at The Art Students League after two years and having a great time this time around too. Painting is with Philip Sherrod and sculpture with Barney Hodes. The piece above is from todays painting session.

Point of view


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.


The Elusive Key


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.

Fair & Lovely?

Fair & Lovely ?

We Indians, it seems, place a high value on fairness. Scan through a few matrimonial classified ads and you’ll see that a requirement that appears frequently, for a girl, is fairness. I’d thought that with our generation we would see this disappear but a recent dinner conversation reminded me that we still have a long way to go 😦 This goes out to all Indian ladies who continue to suffer the teasing and taunting of friends and family because they are dark complexioned.

In case you’re interested, links to a few articles/comments saying it so much better than I ever could. A Darker Side of Fair, Fair = Lovely, Bollywood delusions,

20″ X 24″ acrylic on canvas

Chip off the old block


I used a reference of my niece for this but the people I saw while painting were my two sisters!   Even now I see my sister and not her child.   Did I exaggerate the features I was familiar with till the likeness changed to resemble another person from another time?

Uma WIP 10″ X 10″ acrylic on canvas.  Photo taken by Suporno.

Friends and Faces, an update.


Our first joint exhibition, ‘Friends and Faces‘ has been a success. It ended on March 31st and the paintings are safely back home. We spotted listings a few times in The Daily Star, the local leading English daily, on a radio channel and everyday during the period in Prothom Alo, the local leading Bengali newspaper and this being our “first” exhibition, we were pleased with the coverage. We even had an interview appearing a week after the exhibition in the Daily Star. Most of all we got great feedback and encouragement from friends, the artist community and even a few strangers! So much so that Smita and I have decided to exhibit together again before the end of the year.

These are a part of a series which I hope my friend will add to. I’m titling it “People that Matter” and have a plan for a similar series on my family and close friends. approx 8″ X 8″ acrylic on canvas. These two need more work.

Update : April 28, 2008 : The Daily Star interview was picked up by the website Indian Art Collectors in their news from the world section.