Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
They tell a story in Bukhara that dates back to the time of Abdullah Khan. This Uzbek Khan was a suspicious ruler, and though he didn’t object to more than one artist’s brush contributing to the same illustration, he was opposed to painters copying from one another’s pages—because this made it impossible to determine which of the artists brazenly copying from one another was to blame for an error. More importantly, after a time, instead of pushing themselves to seek out God's memories within the darkness, pilfering miniaturists would lazily seek out whatever they saw over the shoulder of the artist beside them. For this reason, the Uzbek Khan joyously welcomed two great masters, one from Shiraz in the South, the other from Samarkand in the East, who'd fled from war and cruel shahs to the shelter of his court; however he forbade the two celebrated talents to look at each other's work, and separated them by giving them small workrooms on opposite ends of his palace, as far from each other as possible. Thus, for exactly thirty-seven years and four months, as if listening to a legend, these two great masters each listened to Abdullah Khan recount the magnificence of the other's never-to-be-seen work, how it differed from or was oddly similar to the other's. Meanwhile, they both lived dying of curiosity about each other's paintings. After the Uzbek Khan's life had run its long tortoiselike course, the two old artists ran to each other's rooms to see the paintings. Later still, sitting upon either edge of a large cushion, holding each other's books on their laps and looking at the pictures that they recognised from Abdullah Khan's fables, both the miniaturists were overcome with great disappointment because the illustrations they saw weren't nearly as spectacular as those they'd anticipated from the stories they'd heard, but instead appeared, much like all the pictures they'd seen in recent years, rather ordinary, pale and hazy. The two great masters didn't realize that the reason for this haziness was the blindness that had begun to descend upon them, nor did they realize it after both had gone completely blind, rather they attributed their haziness to having been duped by the Khan, and hence they died believing dreams were more beautiful than pictures.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Theen Tamasha has decided to extend its blog to friends from the artist community and share their work, thoughts and ideas through this section called Open Window. Our friend Karishma D'souza is a painter who has been living and working in Baroda after completing a postgraduate programme at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University of Baroda in 2006. Karishma's paintings deal with the everyday middle-class Indian life and her concerns regarding towns and cityscapes that are encroaching on the environment and changing existing landscapes. Her works reflect her compassionate approach into these inquiries as she imaginatively elaborates upon the human communion with nature.
On a recent visit to her studio, she read to us a few selected poems by African American poets. Here is a link to Gwendolyn Brooks' The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel. Listen to the audio clip that includes a little commentary by the poet before she reads this short piece.
Theen Tamasha's Open Window shows you some images of Karishma D'souza's paintings that are currently on view at Hacienda gallery, Mumbai as a part of Card-o-logy, curated by Jasmine Shah Varma, an exhibition of original postcards by 61 contemporary Indian artists .
Titles of paintings (Top to bottom): Trepidation, The Village, Sleeper, Holiday, Evening, Untitled.
Watercolours on paper. 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Picture Postcards by Kim Kyoungae
Acrylic on paper - 5 in. X 7 in.