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The Art Renewal Center

Lost in the gutter of Cubism, Modernism, Post-modernism, Expressionism, Dadaism and other rubbishisms? Find real art at the ARC.

False Gods

They can't draw or paint or create a half-decent artwork but are worshiped by the art establishment as Gods. We prefer to remain infidels and refuse to kowtow to the False Gods of Art.

How the culture-vultures impoverished my soul

One expects art to ennoble our souls, much like a novel by Victor Hugo or a film by Bimal Roy. Instead, stepping into a gallery is like stepping on shit -bullshit.

Critiquing the critics

We smack down these smug bastards and their idiotic art-jargonese con mucho gusto!

Featured Art Videos

'Inflammatory' artist Jon McNaughton on his anti-Obama work
Roger Scruton - Why Beauty Matters (2009) - BBC documentary

Dec 23, 2008

Foreign artists in India- Stuart Robertson

Stuart Robertson watercolor IndiaClick for a larger image

A watercolor by Stuart Robertson

According to his profile here-
Stuart Robertson's love affair with India began when he first visited in 1985. He moved to India in 1989 and lived and stayed on for 7 years, working in Delhi - where he met his wife - and travelling extensively throughout the country. He has returned regularly and his fascination with the people and culture has grown as his paintings have evolved from realistic depictions to simpler representations grasping the mood and feeling of the subject matter rather than literal detail.

I first saw Robertson's work at the now defunct India Today art gallery at Connaught Place, Delhi several years ago. While I was impressed by his large watercolors of India, I remember feeling then that there was something, some Je ne sais quoi missing. A case of if only..... To take an analogy, if I had been the class teacher of Stuart Robertson (and he a little boy), I would have written on his report card-"Good, but can do better" - and then regretted having written the comment. Because at his best he is striking and one cannot but be......um, struck.

Yet that Je ne sais quoi still lingers as an aftertaste.

Previously in the Foreign artists in India series-

Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon
Lady Charlotte Canning
Julian Barrow

Sanjay Bhattacharya, please don't be Anakin Skywalker!

Sanjay Bhattacharya is possibly India's finest painter-

shadows after the light by sanjay bhattacharyaClick for a larger image
Shadows after the light
52.5 X 152.5 cm
oil on canvas

Except when he does something silly like this-

The escape by sanjay bhattacharyaThe escape
152.5 X 106.5 cm
oil on canvas

One is left wondering -what is going on? Are an itinerant (and giant) cup and a saucer (or two) loitering at the doorway of this haveli expecting alms? Is this Alice in wonderland, perhaps set in Rajasthan(Alisha in Bundelkhand, say)?

I suspect this is Sanjay Bhattacharya trying to impress the modernist ulta-seedha (without head or tail) crowd, the kind of people who can stare with admiration at a canvas painted jet black and go 'ooh' and 'ah' over disembowled bodies that adorn many modern paintings.

Oh no, Mr. Bhattacharya - there is no need to pander to this brainless mob, even if it overflows at the arty-sharty cocktail set. You are far too good for that. Put all the Souzas, the Husseins, the Bawas of this world along with legions of modernist and post-modernist hacks(hard to call them artists) together, and still they would not even be worthy of lickng clean your ass(not that you would like them to).

Pardon my vulgarity but we live in vulgar times (go to any art gallery or watch an edgy 'comedy' show on the BBC) and as the finest jedi of the Indian art it is vital that you do not pass over to the dark side.

May I remind you, in the end, that this is the Sanjay Bhattacharya we all love-

Cityscape -II
22inches X 30inches

Dec 18, 2008

What a bloody marvelous painting, part 4

This one is one of those works that forces out an astonished gasp from from the viewer. It left me stunned for a long time and though I appear normal now I am still startled inside.Bloody marvelous, indeed!

Christopher Pugliese painting The Persistent Dream of Youth

The Persistent Dream of Youth
oil on canvas
120 x 72 inches
Christopher Pugliese

See a larger image at the Art Renewal Center. Direct link.
See more of his paintings here.

Compare and contrast-
a poor excuse for art from one our Great Cheese (mahan cheez)-

Study for Resting Scribe - I
Atul Dodiya

Dec 17, 2008

Picasso to his son-"I wish you were dead."

Paul Johnson on Picasso from his interesting book Creators-
The all-powerful machinery of the Picasso industry—his regiments of women, his chateaux, his gold ingots, his unlimited fame, his vast wealth, the sycophancy that surrounded him—none of these brought him serenity as he aged. It seems to me that his personal cruelty and the evident savagery of much of his work (so different from the indignant savagery of Goya) sprang from a deep unease of spirit, which grew steadily worse and terminated in despair. When he realized that his sexual potency had gone, he said bitterly to his son Claude: "I am old and you are young. I wish you were dead."

Irony is thick here- with all "his regiments of women, his chateaux, his gold ingots, his unlimited fame, his vast wealth, the sycophancy that surrounded him", one might overlook the fact that he was a communist.

Don't these celebrity leftists-then and now- lead a highly charming and decadent capitalistic life?

(emphasis mine)

Nov 11, 2008

"so studied, so self-indulgent, so fake"

Andrew Bolt-
To generalise, perhaps wildly: the gloomy, marginal and dysfunctional is celebrated, and the mainstream resisted as oppressive and shameful. It’s as if artists are rebels in search of a cause, looking for the great enemy in a society which actually cossets them. It’s so studied, so self-indulgent, so fake. So bogged in the peripheral and the trivial.

So right!

Oct 29, 2008

What a bloody marvelous painting, part 3

Richard Price
Inside -outside I
oil on canvas
122 X 61 cms
Richard Price

There is another Richard Price whose work looks quite interesting.

And another whose doesn't.

Oct 12, 2008

Supporting terrorism-just another day in the life of arty-sharties

If there were to be a popularity contest taken among the denizens of the art world between George Bush and Osama Bin Laden, Bush would be lucky if could break into double digits, if that. The arts establishment is so utterly left-wing and so rabidly anti-American that it has found no qualms in supporting terrorists(to them they are"freedom fighters"), brutal dictators like Castro and Khomeni("anti-imperialists"), totalitarian regimes that have killed in millions, like those of Mao, Stalin and Khmer-Rouge("experiments in a more noble social system").

So I was not surprised to read this-
The decision made by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, known to all as the ICA, that rather odd attractive (on the outside) building on the Mall, to hold a satellite discussion with a member of Hamas, the group that has been designated as terrorist by the United States, the European Union (and its members) as well as everyone who has ever had any dealings with it (and that includes members of the other Palestinian groups) is, nevertheless, problematic. For one thing, this does not even pretend to be any form of art. Well, all right, a political discussion may be of some importance even if it has no artistic significance, though, possibly not in an institution that uses taxpayers’ money to promote (allegedly) knowledge and understanding of the contemporary art scene.


The ICA and Mr Crooke are not, however, interested in a discussion of terrorism, its causes and effects and alternative political activity. Their intention is, presumably two-fold. In the first place, misunderstanding the sayings of people like Baudelaire, they are out to épater la bourgeoisie, to shock the complacent middle classes or the establishment or whatever. This ignores the fact that, as far as the arts in this country are concerned (and, indeed, as far as many other institutions are concerned) the establishment is not the bourgeoisie but those juvenile left-wingers who use state hand-outs, which is not something the likes of Baudelaire would have approved of, to scream at the top of their voices of their own moral superiority because they undermine political and ethical decencies.

The second intention is considerably more straight-forward: Mr Crooke’s aim for whatever motives, is to make terrorists and mass murderers acceptable, their followers objects of compassion and to present the one democratic state of the Middle East, Israel, as an oppressive ogre. No other point of view is to be allowed in his universe. Using those state hand-outs the ICA supports him in this less than laudable endeavour. Perhaps, they can no longer find enough contemporary art they can actually approve of.

Just another day in the life of leftie arty-sharties.
Read the whole thing.

(emphasis mine)

Promising Artists -Amit Kumar

ravi bhaiya with dog- a painting by Amit Kumarravi bhaiya with dog

This gentleman has it in him to be quite a fine artist. I only hope he does not get stuck at the level where he is but keeps on improving -a must to get to that summit of mastery of which he seems to be capable.

Compare and contrast-

a particularly hideous painting by one of our Great Cheese(mahan cheez), Nikhil Chaganlal-

Nikhil Chaganlal - Passion of GaneshNikhil Chaganlal - Passion of Ganesh

Oct 11, 2008

Promising artists -Kashi Nath Das

Some of Kashi's works sparkled with energy -it was the speed of working and the use of the white of the paper. As is evident from his works, the speed was crucial to his style -he didn't seem to have patience with working carefully in a step by step or area by area manner. I can understand this because I feel the same way and many of my own works reflect that.

I use 'was' because I haven't seen or heard from him for several years -although it may be my own fault since my disillusionment with contemporary art has dimmed my efforts to keep up with the going-ons in the art world. But anyway, if Kashi Nath Das, you are reading this -do get in touch with me and if somebody has access to his works, do send me the photos as I should like to post them.

Unfortunately, I don't have the images of best of his works but these are quite charming(although the photos don't do justice to the real thing)-


A work by Kashi Nath Das
A work by Kashi Nath Das
Oil on paper-

A work by Kashi Nath Das

Oops - I believe it is Kashinath Das and not Kashi Nath Das

Update- I believe standard caveats should apply - I do not mean to say that each and every work of Das is good art. In fact many seemed to have been done too hurriedly, carelessly and with not enough dedication or love of work perceptible in them, perhaps done purely out of commercial considerations -yet there were many that were quite good.

Update 2- Here is Das at Triveni Kala Sangam-

kashinath das

Oct 10, 2008

"Art featuring things that are pretty to look at? What a banal and provincial idea"

A comment at this discussion-
Landscapes? Animal Pictures? Art featuring things that are pretty to look at? What a banal and provincial idea. Those motifs are entirely lacking in the proper transgressive attitude! Most damning of all, they are utterly bereft of the essential ironic detachment that is the hall mark of the true modern artist.

No, no no.
Art must reflect the edginess and sophistication of both its producers and its audience. Their willingness to transgress bourgeois social conventions, their willingness to defy the prudishness of conventional attitudes.

Animal pictures? Really Mary... why would any serious artist waste their time on such trivia when Art can be used for the promotion of challenging messages that cut against the grain of our complacent society... Messages that challenge our assumptions, stretch our thinking in new ways, take us out of our comfort zone and force us to reexamine our most cherished convictions and attitudes.
Messages such as


Now THATS really pushing the envelope.

Well said!

Oct 1, 2008

Not everyone worships Damien Hirst

Although the (in)famous non- and con-artist Damien Hirst has been making waves both in India and elsewhere, not everyone is smitten with him. Nick Cohen-

AS IT WAS, the doormen stopped the little boy getting into Sotheby’s, so no one shouted “But the emperor has no clothes!” as giddy buyers bid more than £100 million for the mass-­produced works of Damien Hirst.

Indeed, there was only one tense moment at the auction. A pickled shark that had a guide price of £6 million was stuck around the £3 million mark. Think of that, a shark for just £3 million! Onlookers worried that the Hirst bubble had burst. But then a bidding war began, and a wave of applause swept the room when it finally went for £8.5 million.

I can understand the relief. Last year, Hirst produced the perfect symbol of financial excess — a platinum skull encrusted with 8,000 diamonds. The kitsch piece looked like a prop from an Indiana Jones movie but because Hirst could ask £50 million for it, the money-worshippers of the art establishment swooned. Despite that excess producing the worst banking crisis since the ­Thirties, despite the staff at Lehman Brothers in Canary Wharf losing their jobs on the very day the auction began, Hirst’s prices kept rising.

Not all the oligarchs and sheikhs out there can have gone bust, and I don’t mean to insult Hirst when I say that they may regret their investments. Look at what was on offer. I accept that putting a shark in formaldehyde was an innovative idea but its shock value has dulled with repetition. As for the rest, if you saw Hirst’s butterfly pictures in a gift shop, you wouldn’t think of buying them, while his more decorative work looks like the patterns on cheap wrapping paper.
Why are they selling when all around Hirst asset prices are collapsing? The rather magnificent Stuckist movement of figurative artists has a simple explanation: the art establishment in London has been dominated for too long by an in-group which favours only the conceptual art of Hirst and his colleagues.

All outsiders claim the system is rigged against them and that who you know matters more than what you do — but the Stuckists have a point. The Turner Prize nearly always goes to conceptual artists. Their friend and patron, Sir Nicholas Serota, has been in charge of the Tate for 21 years. As the Stuckist sculptor Nigel Konstam says: “Few dictators have lasted so long or been able to implement their policies so completely. Sir Nicholas has presided over a monoculture more complete than any other European nation.

A touch over the top but basically right. The ruling clique has been in power for decades and persuaded the public to think the art it favours is the only art worth having. Sir Nicholas can’t last for ever. One day he will retire, hopefully to be a replaced by a truth-telling little boy. When he goes, the price of sharks will crash as fast as Lehman Brothers’ shares.

(emphasis mine)

The great hustler with his 'art'-

The great hustler Damien Hirst with his 'art'

A painting contest judged by Jatin Das -a cruel irony

This is a joke, surely -or is it a cruel irony? Only it is an irony that visits us over and over again.

"Great Cheese" Jatin Das to judge children's painting competition-

artcontest Radisson Jatin Das

This fellow cannot make even a decently good drawing-

drawing jatindas

or a painting-

watercolor jatindas

or even a sculpture-

sculpture jatindas

Yet he is to to be presented as a devta(god) of art to these impressionable young minds and (horror!) he is to sit in judgment over the art of these enthusiastic youngsters, many of whom probably can draw better than him and with much more sincerity.

In India we have a saying -andhon mein kana raja, i.e. in the kingdom of blind, the one-eyed man becomes king.
However in the contemporary art world, the blind rule and the those with perfect vision(the utterly earnest children ) are expected to worship the sightless.

A painting contest judged by Jatin Das -I consider it child abuse.

Update- Here is the link to the official contest page

Update 2- I have sent the following mail to the organizers-

Dear sir/madam,

I find your selection of judge, a certain Mr. Jatin Das to be an unfortunate choice. As anybody with even a passable vision but a clear head can see, he is not an artist of any particular merit. While you have taken the safe and popular route of choosing a famous artist, you have not considered the impact it may have on the impressionable minds of the youngsters when they are presented a talentless hack as a paragon of artistic greatness.

I expound on this in more detail here-

I wish you had shown some courage and selected someone who really can paint, although your commercial compulsions are understandable if regrettable.

yours sincerely.

Aug 26, 2008

Promising artists- Vani Pippalla Akula

Here is starting another new series -on promising artists who should be getting more attention.

First off the block -Vani Pippalla Akula (ok, that's a mouthful). She is based in USA, the land of the free, and many(but not all) of her works seem to be really good.(I say 'seem' because I haven't viewed them in person, but they do look good). A couple of fine ones-

a painting by Vani Pippalla Akula
Family of Apples 5" x 7" oil on gessoed board

a painting by Vani Pippalla Akula
Rainy Day 5" x 7" oil on gessoed board

Check out her works at -

Compare and contrast-

Would a sensible person rather have one of the above on his/her walls or something as silly as this(by one of our Great Cheese*), K.G. Subramanyan-

a work by K.G. Subramanyan
An untitled work by K.G. Subramanyan

*The colorful Indian language translator-
Great cheese - a play on the Hindi expression 'mahan cheez', literally a great thing or a great person, sarcastically speaking.

Aug 25, 2008

Rich folks,poor tastes -Alpana Gujral

I am starting a new section with this post -a common tragic sight in the mansions of the arty-sharty minded millionaires.Among all the fancy and very expensive decors and objets d'art with which the luxury pads of these posh people are stuffed, you will almost invariably find something ugly and stupid hanging on the walls.
It's almost eerie. Rich folks are not stupid -otherwise they wouldn't be rich(or stay that way for long). But there is a competition among them to buy and show-off really bad art.

First in this series-Jewellery designer Alpana Gujral.
From the Hindustan Times-

Alpana Gujral bad art
(click for larger image)
Alpana Gujral bad art 1
(click for larger image)
Alpana Gujral bad art 2
(click for larger image)

Some of the works despoiling the walls are by her father, the ultra-famous (what for when there are many other much, much better artists struggling for years ?) painter Satish Gujral. We understand the sentiment, but hey, nepotism is no excuse for bad taste.

Jun 12, 2008

Foreign artists in India -Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon

Gold Trim Shawl -a work by Susan LyonGold Trim Shawl
a work by
Susan Lyon

Selling Pottery -a work by Scott BurdickSelling Pottery
a work by
Scott Burdick

This couple has to be among the most talented artists ever to have visited India. Going over their work at their website is a sheer delight. I marveled at their brushstrokes. Unlike many other artists whose paintings on the net can only be seen as a small, low res images, Scott and Susan have given close ups of many of their works and God bless them that they did. As an artist I can spend long evenings imagining the movement of the brush and it's play on the support, just as one might imagine traversing a beautiful landscape whilst listening to Mozart. I dearly would love to see their paintings in person.

close up of a work by Scott Burdickclose up of a work by Scott Burdick

Compare and contrast
In contrast a work by one of our 'greats'-

a work by Jogen Chowdhurya work by Jogen Chowdhury

What a contrast between immense talent and skill and a mere preening mediocrity.

Other artists featured earlier in the series Foreign artists in India-
Lady Charlotte Canning
Julian Barrow

May 29, 2008

Worse than a monkey

Dirty Harry hits the nail-
An abstract panting can be appealing to the eye and look good on a wall. My contempt doesn’t rise from the painting itself but rather from the idea that the painter is somehow more talented than a pre-schooler or an adult monkey.

I think he is being charitable.

May 8, 2008

Dear Fellow artists, have some shame

A sketch by Charlotte CanningThe Garden Reach at Barrackpore
A sketch by Charlotte Canning
(click for a larger image)

The above image is taken from Charles Allen's fine book-A Glimpse Of The Burning Plain- Leaves From The Indian Journals Of Charlotte Canning

A Glimpse Of The Burning Plain- Leaves From The Indian Journals Of Charlotte Canning

Charlotte Canning (1817-1861) was the wife of Lord Canning, appointed Governor-General of India in 1855.

In 1855, Lady Charlotte Canning accompanied her husband when he was appointed Governor-General of India. Her six-year exile from England, ending in her death in Calcutta, is recorded in a collection of letters and sketches. The letters, over 50 to Queen Victoria, to whom she was a cherished and indefatigable correspondent, evoke the quality of the British connection with India. The Cannings' tenure was marred by the Indian Mutiny and political pressures from England, but Charlotte used her personal loneliness and solitude to study the plight of Indian women, to explore the Himalayas and to convey through her regular correspondence with the Queen and others how it is to be seduced by India.
There are many fine sketches and studies in the book. Lady Canning was a fairly competent artist.
Which brings me to this-
I know that nobody is listening but here is what I should like to say my brethren and sister artists in India-

Aabey,yaar, kuchch to sharam karo*.Here is this angrez* woman who did some nice work about 150 years ago, and here you are, you can't even draw a tree or a horse competently let alone a human figure. Just look at the rotten works of MF Husain, FN Souza, The Brootas, Tyeb Mehta- and I am not even going to mention the near circus quality gimmicks of Bose Krishnamachari, Subodh Gupta and many others. They are not the ones you should be emulating.

Abhi bhe* there is still time.You can try and learn something. Make an effort. Learn. Practice.Work it out. Sweat it out.You can still learn how to draw and paint well and given your dedication you can become a master, a true master. And by master I don't mean drawing the silly circles like SH Raza or the worm like crawling thingies like Jeram Patel.

Get out of the mindset that art has to be ultaseedha*, oontpatang*, tedhamaedha* to be taken seriously. Stop being intimidated by witchdoctors like Suneet Chopra, Keshav Malik and many other culture-vultures. Stop hankering after the approval of the likes of Vadheras and Vaziranis(of Saffronart).

I am tempted to say that be true to yourself and do your own thing. But I won't, not because it's a tired cliché, but because I have no idea what that means. So all I will say is- draw well, paint well and when you really do, be not afraid to have pride in your work, despite what the Maliks and the Vadheras might think.

*The colorful Indian language translator-
Aabey,yaar, kuchch to sharam karo - c'mon friends, have some shame!
angrez- English
Abhi bhe- Still. there is yet
, oontpatang, tedhamaedha- Mindless, senseless, twisted, distorted

update and oops- Keshav Patel changed to Keshav Malik.

Apr 6, 2008

Charlton Heston-not God but almost.

If one can imagine a Greek god's face -then one can imagine Charlton Heston's screen presence(this is for those who have not seen him on a 70mm screen).

Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God
Charlton Heston Almost God

Judah Ben-Hur, I shall miss you.Rest in peace.

crossposted at Liberty News Central

Mar 23, 2008

Compare and contrast -a sense of light

What a difference a 'sense' of light makes. Compare and contrast-

A work by Arjun Desai, a painting of the Bundi (Rajasthan) town printed on the cover of a travel magazine-

A work by Arjun Desai
There is absolutely no feeling of light in this work (one does not know if that is conscious decision by the artist -even if it is that does not affect the effect the image has on the observer). In a work such as this, one can appreciate the skill in working out a composition, the handling of color etc though that skill is not of high order in this case. But one can imagine that even given not a high order of skill the painting would have come out much better if it had a presence of light and atmosphere.

A painting of the Corfu (Greece) town by David Curtis-

A painting of the Corfu town by David Curtis
There's a marvelous presence of light in this work. One can 'feel' the warmth of a sun baked town, bathing in the Mediterranean sunlight.The work shows a high degree of mastery over the traditional skills of perspective, composition, choosing and handling paints etc but what makes it stand out is the firm 'sense' of light.The experience of visually going over this painting is not only pleasant but much more- it is an affirmation of happiness on earth.(Can one say that about a work by any of our mahan cheez* say M.F.Husain or F.N.Souza?) That is why David Curtis is one of modern times better artists.

*The colorful Indian language translator-
mahan cheez - (literally, a great thing) a great person(sarcastically speaking).

Mar 3, 2008

Any convincing arguments in favor of Jatin Das?

Can somebody look at Jatin Das' works -

a work by Jatin Das

a work by Jatin Das

and honestly say that he is a mahaan(great) artist?

Are there any good arguments out there justifying his place at the altar? Can there be any?
And I don't mean the post-modern garbage that is vomited by witchdoctors like Suneet Chopra.

Note -if you follow the above link you will discover that Mr.Chopra has an issue with big boobs (oops, sorry, I mean "oversized breasts")

Feb 29, 2008

British artist Julian Barrow at the Lodi Gardens

What the Heck is Art? catches British artist Julian Barrow in action at the Lodi Gardens in Delhi-

British artist Julian Barrow at the Lodi GardensBritish artist Julian Barrow at the Lodi Gardens

He seemed to be an amiable gentleman though he was brash with a lady who asked him where he was from and he snapped-"From my mother!". One can sympathize, for the constant pestering of the curious -and in this case I was one-can indeed be irritating. Plein-air painting is sometimes a balancing of art and public-relations.

There was a nice feel to the painting he was working on, though unfinished then-

Julian Barrow working plein-air
He also seems to be a decent enough artist judging from his website.
He has been painting in India earlier and had plans to continue to do so.
What the Heck is Art? wishes him well.

Feb 7, 2008

Broota interrogates the gender archetypes and exposes -the utter vapidity of art criticism

A contemporary art journal can be a source of much mirth, given that the reviewers/reporters are under peer pressure to sound trendy, 'informed', 'in' on to the exotic secrets of the modern/postmodern art scene. They must all sound equally obscure and suitably intellectual.

One such journal is Matters of art, from which we learn that art techniques can be selfless, just like Mother Teresa-
In his curatorial note, Arjun Sawhney says: “In a world of vivid hues a paler shade of pale or a darker shade of dark is perhaps as effective as screaming color. Like a catalyst, the tricky technique of de-saturation lends strength to a picture, a painting, a piece of art. 'Desaturation'- the addition of white to a saturated color in order to achieve a paler shade.

In order to communicate the one salient point in a process, perhaps, the background has to take a step back. By its very definition the background should simply not be the focus. The selfless technique of de-saturation thus makes the focus of the primary object sharper, more prominent, more important.

If only people were as de-saturated as...as......Desaturation.

From a review of Rameshwar Broota’s Photographs at the same link-
He uses his photographic imagery primarily as a means of self knowledge which also operates at the level of a wider cultural critique. Broota’s photographs are revealed as, not only recorder of ‘objective’ reality but as an exploration device of a ‘subjective’ experience, thus reinforcing that the artist’s body can be both the subject and object of the photograph.
If Mr. Jekyll-Hyde can can play dual roles with one body, so can Mr. Broota.

Broota interrogates the gender archetypes and exposes myths and prejudices which control ‘macho’ imagery associated with - weapons, male dominated sports, combat gear and other phallocentric images. Male chauvinistic activities based on accepted social ideologies are critiqued by him in the ‘reverse’ gaze.
I am all with Mr.Broota on this. I myself prefer woman dominated sports, and vaginacentric images and female chauvinistic activities not based on accepted social ideologies. And I am quite good at 'reverse' gaze when it comes to all of the above.
(adult material warning for both the above links)

Broota’s photographs thus, leap over both geographical and cultural differences and offer a refection of contemporary national/international culture underscored by a patriarchal machismo sensibility. His photographs justify his quote “Photography is the combination of fact and fiction”.
And contemporary art criticism is a combination of meaningless jargon and twaddle.

More enlightenment from the same people-
According to the artist(Chintan Upadhyay), the sign systems in our times tend to mis-communicate rather than lead to the true facts. Now, sign systems are developed deliberately for imparting hegemonic ideas.

“We, as human beings have become not just the consumers of commodities, but the hopeless consumers of signs. It has become pathological and the misinterpret-able signs settle in our physical and intellectual bodies like cancerous cells. They find safe havens within us for further multiplication. Whether you call it imperialist tactics of human management or just the rule of corporatism, my idea is to embody this process; the socio-cultural and political deception of contemporary signs,” says Chintan Upadhyay.

Wow! This fella is a Chomsky with paintbrush.I only hope that those who buy his works, which sell in lakhs, have somehow made their money without any taint of corporatism.Chintan might not like it otherwise, you know.

(emphasis mine)

Note - the material used from the Matters of art site may not be available at the given link, given the way their page is structured.

Feb 6, 2008

What a bloody marvelous painting, part 2

Sorry about the light posting. Let me make it up by putting up a fine painting indeed-

Paradise rocks,Newport by James Suydam
Paradise rocks, Newport
James Suydam
oil on canvas
approx 25" X 45"

Puts all the Souzas and Brootas to shame.

Indian artists in support of a murderer

  • “The Victims of Che Guevera” posterWell known Indian artists and other arty-sharties pay homage to Che Guevara.

Now why am I not surprised.

“The Victims of Che Guevera” poster, produced by the Young America’s Foundation, a collage that uses tiny photos of those killed by Cuba’s communist regime to compose the face of the Marxist icon, Che Guevara.
Larger image here.

First some facts which for some reason are not well publicized or are completely unknown to most(media bias?)-
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was second in command, chief executioner, and chief KGB liaison for a regime that outlawed elections and private property. This regime's KGB-supervised police, employing the midnight knock and the dawn raid among other devices, rounded up and jailed more political prisoners as a percentage of population than Stalin's and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler's executed (out of a population of 70 million) in it's first six.
One week into power the regime Che Guevara co-founded abolished Habeas Corpus. Guevara commanded his regime's prosecutorial goons to "always interrogate our prisoners at night. A man's resistance is always lower at night." He boasted that, "we execute from revolutionary conviction!" and that "judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail." Edwin Tetlow, Havana correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph, reported on a mass "trial" orchestrated by Che Guevara where Tetlow noticed the death sentences posted on a board before the trial had started.

So who loves this creep?

Famous(why?) communist art-critic, Suneet Chopra,communist art-critic, Suneet Chopra well known artists-Arpana Caur, Krishen Khanna, Vijendra Sharma, Dharmendra Rathore, Anoop Kamath, Mohan Singh, Saba Hasan, Vijayata Bhamri, art critics Vinod Bharadwaj and Nuzhat Kazmi, writer Uma Vasudev film persons Arun Vasudev and M K Raina and a large number of intellectuals, artists, writers and leading gallery owners of the capital.

The occasion for all this roses and love was an exhibition dedicated to this lover of freedom in Delhi opened by the ambassador of that paradise of freedom, human rights, free press, free elections and prosperity known by it's shorter name -Cuba.

Suneet Chopra seemed to be in a grumbling mood-<
Today imperialism has invented far worse weapons(than atom bombs) that they have tested on the civilian populations Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. In the name of regime change, the elected president of the Chilean people, Salvador Allende, was murdered in an army coup that proceeded to murder thousands after that, including the Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda. In 1991 the USSR was dismantled, and dismembered, Grenada was invaded, Nicaragua was destabilised and Yugoslavia with its proud anti-fascist record and one of the founders of the non-aligned movement was torn to bits as was Czechoslovakia, and states that Hitler had created have once more emerged in the Balkans, not as a natural process, but with the armed might of NATO behind them. “Democracy” was being imposed on the barrel of a gun with the help of generals like Pinochet, Sucharto and the like. And it was Che who told us that such a global oppression could only be stopped with a global resistance to it, by creating “twenty Vietnams” all over the world.

Warmonger! Calling for more Vietnams. Does he love war or what. Read the whole thing. Chopra is almost cartoonish in his rage against 'imperialism', a fine caricature of a fuming communist, now fuming more than ever since the collapse of the USSR (result of an evil plot, no doubt, though the liberated countries of the eastern Europe love their freedom from the Stalinist nightmare). Communism and socialism have never produced a free and prosperous society anywhere despite a century of experimentation.Misery, poverty, oppression, totalitarianism, midnight knocks, entrenched rule by a vicious elite, slave labor, 'reeducation' camps, gulags, death of tens and tens of millions-yes; happiness and freedom-no. And this is the 'vision' that Suneet Chopra and countless other intellectuals have supported and defended. One of the consistent themes of the last hundred or so years has been the love affair of the intellectuals with totalitarianism- be it that of the Nazis, of Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge, Castro or any other power-seeker who mouths the right cliches against 'imperialism'.

But what about the artists who participated in the Che lovefest?
Artistic freedom is one of the first casualties of the kind of regime that Che wanted to establish all over Latin America and elsewhere and helped to bring about in Cuba(Quick-How free are the artists to criticize Fidel in his land of milk and honey?).
So what explains their participation? True conviction? Or pulling the right social levers and supporting the 'right' causes to further their careers?
Or what?

I think it is legitimate to call them 'Artists against freedom'.

A more comprehensive article in three parts is published at the Liberty News Central-

Part 1-Indian artists in support of a murderer
Part 2- Che Myths
Part 3- Alternative Che images one would like to see more of

(emphasis mine)

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