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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)

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