Street of art.

Don’t you like to peep out from your car, just to have a look at the new colorful funky big size poster put overnight on the same road that you travel everyday? Take the case of streets where you typically walk through – you would steal a look to see what the funny punch line of the advertisement is even though you are involved in a chatting session. This is Street art or some call it graffiti or can be called as ephemeral art. These are made by those painters whose names you can’t recall but would appreciate their effort. The purpose of doing such work is not always monetary gain or to spread words about a product but generally intended to evoke popularity on certain current issues or trends.
Like my friend from Germany told me- if you walk inside the lanes of old cities you will see lots of graffiti work on hip hop culture. And one of my Indian friend who is recently coming from USA told one can see lots of art work like football players, pop singers etc in towns but not in posh city like Seattle. Well, street artists are wanderers who, if are financial sound or get an opportunity, love to spread their street art work in other countries’ streets too. You could check here a good collection of street artists from around the globe.

The medium they use to paint an art work is spray-paints. That somehow reminds me of my college where we used to buy silver & black color spray from stationery and painted the columns and floors in anticipation (of nothing). Some artists use stencil and mosaic work and it can be called as Guerilla art too.

From the world capital of street graphics New York to the technically advanced Tokyo to busy Barcelona boulevards, one can see the vibrant graphics depicting own vernacular to tell about the inside city story and traditional culture. These culturally rich graphics talk a lot and there is a lot of meaning behind them if you observe it carefully – either it could be taunt on politicians or fun of a product. It represents the urban culture which includes music, films, politics or an issue.

There is no way when I am talking about street art and not write in-depth about India. Street art in India have different approaches. It might be famous on special occasion like at home at the time of Onam festival (A different form of making momentary art work called rangoli; flowers and sand colors are used), at college fests or you could see at old cities shop’s advertisement boards. But gone is the era when film posters were hand drawn or artist painted the big size banner on heavy traffic road by keeping awake whole night. Now streets sign in digital printed banners or see only offset and screen printed ads.

Still if you go inside the old city areas or the small towns and marooned village one can locate some of old style art work.
Bollywood cinema that was once famous for well painted Madhubala portraits and nicely composed posters of hindi cinema of seventies are nowadays put on exhibition. The bid rate for such rare posters are also high as the popularity of treasuring such work among media people is quite in demand.

Amitabh on Auto rickshaw mud paddle Salman painted on Auto rickshaw mud paddle
The typography used in posters, the brush strokes and artist signatures made by using oil paints or poster colors had its own charm & charisma to bring the audiences to theatre. Even to promote the Dabur Lal dant manjan (a tooth powder brand) or Rupa hain mere pass – an ad of baniyan (Vests).

Pepsi in a Gali (street) an ad of underwear

The striking power of street visuals will not fade as long there are messy artistic people in existence. They are the ones who spread the cultural experiences with bright colors painted on a big spectrum for the common people.

Poster Street art

Some more posters painted in Monsoon fest time. Copyrights of all Images used for this blog post belong to their respective owners.

Updates: Check the Big B (Amitabh Bacchan, the legend of Indian cinema) old films posters.

Moods of Monsoon.

Im an instant poet. What I mean by this, I generally don’t write poems. Neither in hindi nor in english but when a line or some words strikes in my mind I make it rythmic. I always finish it with in few minutes otherwise I can’t complete it. That’s why my poems are result of 10-15 minutes and I call it Instant poem.
here goes one of such poem after ages.

बारि-शे-दांज

आँसू बहूमूलय या बारिश की बूँद,कया पता
गरज कर बरसे,या चुपचाप हूए लापता।
वो बडती धङकन थी, या बिजली की कङक
दूर छूपे है इतने जहॉ ना जाती कोई सडक।
सूनहरी धूप से झाँकते रूई के गौलौं
हाथौ से ना पकङौ, नजरौ से टटलौ।
जब पास बुलाया था तो दूर चले गये

अब आज कैसे धने कोहरे से झांक रहे।
सूरज के साथ खेलना लूकाधिपी
सात रंगौं के साथ पककी दोसती।
अजीब ही आदत हैं इनकी,राजा हैं मन मरजी के
जब चाँहे आ धमके, मन हूआँ तो रिमझिम बरसे।

19 July, 2006. 8:56 pm

This poem is in Hindi, and what its saying is- talking about Indian Monsoon which is so unpredictable.

People become excited even by seeing the clouds, or little drizzling.

It’s the rain that brings the smile on farmer’s face when the crop goes green. A couple goes for walk in hand in hand and umbrella flies away. Or when traffic get struck up because of poor water congestion. Dirty water fills up in a small house where 8 people live in one room. When you sip the hot cup of tea with aloo pakore. And I write this by sitting in window and with in-between views of outside green & blue beauty.

Refreshing Change.

Change is inevitable. As Confusius said – They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

This new template is totally representing the always-changing weathers of India. Monsoon is here. So it’s very much suiting. Through I have to do some changes (coding actually) to make it compatible, as few of links are lost not working, pictures displacement or so.
Better give me time or like it as it is.

Football Fever & Italy.

Victory striked after 24 years. Finally Italy won the world cup. French wine didn’t work. I’m not going to write more about soccer. As already lots of people wrote about it. I enjoyed yesterday (9th july) match. Actually I was not watching and talking with a friend who is in Italy. They guys were going to see second half on big screen. And seems so excited that I could saw that in letters of our chat. And yesterday only I received few pictures of Rome from my friend.

Colosseo.JPG Italy 1.JPG

I always thought of visiting Italy specially Rome once. I was just browsing net and found some information.

Italy 2.JPG fontana-di-trevi.JPG

Italy is a highly developed country with the 8th highest GDP (2006). Italy word derived from a word that means Bull.Now comes the most important thing the Renaissance period. You might have read this word in history or in details if you are into architecture, design field. That influenced the whole European culture and other parts too. Because of cultural heritage it has been an influential place for designers. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael are few of them. In terms of science too some great scientists came from here – Galileo, Fibonacci (remember Fibonacci series) etc.

And your favorite fashion designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Gianni Versace, Prada and Giorgio Armani are all big names in the fashion and glamour world. After all Italy is well known for setting trends and responsible for the revolution of haute- couture.
Not only in fashion but Italy given great designs to automobile companies too. And creativity and level of excellence you can see in Ferrari or Peugeot205 and Fiat Uno designed by Pininfarina.
And the story behind Vespa scooter (I have seen the success of it in India) is that after second world war Mass destruction weapons companies- which made warplanes etc were in trouble so to make living by using more practical transport.

Italian leather sofas are always a preferred choice when things come to choose furniture for living room. Might be it is in the great heritage of art and architecture of this country, from Renaissance era to Rococo period. Check these classic designs of Italian furniture.
What to say about Italian food, you all love pizza & pasta. Through northern Italian cuisine favors butter & mascarpone cheese and southern use more of mozzarella cheese.
Ahh I can sense the smell coming from the near by food court.

Thanks to Pragati for sharing photographs of Italy.

Italy 3.JPG Italy.JPG

Crafting craftsmanship.

Craft is the one such subject that is always known to everyone from the very young age. Its such a distinctive thing that could be seen everywhere you go because every place have own specialty- craft of that city which have own art & grandeur. There is a legacy in making of it, there is story, a reason behind that’s why it is practicing from years. It’s just not a contemporary piece of furniture that is made by a creative person.

Elephants in stone

Today while browsing one of my favorite blog I came across ‘Crafting all the way to bank’ on Design Observer. And it made me to think about craftsmen. Once I pointed out about ‘Indian & African crafts’.

I come to know about the first references to Indian handicrafts was found from the Indus Valley Civilization. This civilization is well versed in the craft of bead making, ceramics, shell etc. Other golden periods were Mughal era and the Gupta period. As the India is diverse country so there is huge diversity in Indian crafts too. Colors of Gujarat to Rajasthani puppets to Agra’s stone work and Kashmiri shawls and South Indian sarees so much with own specialty that you will fall for everything and would like to take home.

Taking about craft is not so easy as now craft is merging more into design and trends. Products that were earlier known for traditional value and have a particular pattern or color scheme, today’s have more of selling power because of abstract form or use of colors in demands. It is all about customer taste, what he will like, he would like to spend money on. And what about the creator? Who are following the trade of patola silk sari (Patan, Gujarat) from years by using the same colors & pattern. How Chinese market is grasping the years old Banarasi silk sarees market by offering the same stuff at cheaper rate. Technology overruling intricate handwork.

Spending few hours with craftsmen and understanding their problem is one issue. But how exactly you can help, your role as designer. What is Design intervention, so many things that will come to your mind. How to prevent years practiced craft, And why craftsmen would like to pursue their grandfather skills.

Some continuos effort are made like opening of International Centre for Indian Crafts (ICIC). That will conduct number of need based knowledge and skill dissemination workshops and training programmes, and also work towards developing international collaborative network of experts in various areas of crafts and provide the exchange and knowledge transfer opportunities for the craftsperson. Which is very important. Like when I was documenting Wooden lacquerware toys of Varanasi, UP, India, craftsmen told me- ‘Now noone comes here for buying wooden Kitchen set so we are more interested in export, through our knowledge about how to do is almost nil. We have to be dependent on someone & that might take the advantage of our unawareness.’

So here comes the Awareness, the solution. This is what we need to do- establishing channels, mediums and frameworks that could help them to survive in changed scenarios. As with the emergence of market it is important that there should be qualitative market intelligence flow between market- place and the Crafts person.

With the understanding on production’s quality, crafts promotion and sustainability by keeping in mind market development, IPR issues and traditions.

Well managed and formed communities and centre for crafts, conducting skill enhancement workshops for craftsmen, giving training to the new or interested craftsmen. Conducting design research, exposuring the craftsmen to different cultures and doing design interventions for the upliftment of the crafts communities and improving the networking by approaching government, other countries for the mutual social-economic growth are some of the approaches.

Such makers have a unique & genuine connection with the natural world and it manifests itself in a creative excellence to world that take the wondrous elements of this earth coming up to exceptional terms which only he can make and we can only learn and ‘redesign’.