I am 18 years old and my hair is growing grey, I have used many hair care products, oils and powders, but nothing seems to work.
Wait, what does this have to do with art? These words have been pulled out of a newspaper or perhaps a magazine that entertains such questions from readers and artist R. Jacob Jebaraj has read at some point in his life.
Thus, his piece ‘Juxtapose', part of a group exhibition that opened at Cholamandal Artists' Village on Sunday, draws from everything he has read, seen, and felt. Even the chair he sits on to ruminate makes an appearance.
“This piece is modelled on my memories and my life,” he says, about this serigraphy on canvas. “From afar, it could be an aerial view of our city - the constructions and the chaos.”
The works of Mr. Jebaraj and 25 others are displayed at this ‘Art Chennai 2012' event. Pointing at his piece titled ‘Rhapsody', senior artist S.G.Vasudev said the music he listens to while painting gave form to this series.
“I listen to M.D. Ramanathan or Sanjay Subramaniam when I work and the Rhapsody series is born out of the connection with the music.” Paritosh Sen's solo exhibition also opened at the artists' village.
Down the road in Akkarai, the group exhibition ‘pREpellers', showcasing 15 contemporary artists, opened at the Gallery Art and Soul. “Chennai is one place where ‘regional arguments' are quite active,” reads curator Kavitha Balakrishnan's note at the entrance of the gallery — the allusion being to the coming together of artists from different backgrounds, dislocated lives and different political memories.
It certainly is diverse with works from Kerala-artist Gopikrishna, London-based artist Chila Burman and Waswo X. Waswo, an American based in Udaipur, coming together under one roof. “All ice-cream advertisements tend to over-sexualise women,” said Ms. Burman. “My work makes fun of this.” Interestingly, one of the four pieces of hers on display is modelled on the ice-cream van that her father used to drive in Liverpool.
An art performance that fuses art and yoga by artist C.Krishnaswami was the highlight of day two of the art attack that the city's currently facing. In the piece ‘Kundalini Rising', the artist used vast canvases as yoga mats and engaged oil paints as markers of his movements. Essentially, the artist spreads linseed oil on the canvas, applies different colours of acrylic pigment on top, and performs a set of pre-determined asanas on it.
The result is not a self-portrait but the imprint of the artist's body itself. “When I begin, I do not have any idea how the piece is going to look. The particular space in which I perform decides what colours to use and it also depends on my stamina,” said the artist about a work that he first created completely out of chance.
While the small gathering was taken aback by what seemed like complicated yoga postures, the artist after he had cleaned up the paint off him, simply said: “I am not satisfied with this work.”
The right selection of works by south Indian artists is what curator Palaniappan Ramanathan had in mind while choosing the pieces for the group exhibition that opened at The Faraway Tree. “Except for Gurdeep Singh, most of the others are South Indians,” he said, pointing at works by Akkitham Narayanan, RB Bhaskaran and Pradeep Puthoor.
A tip for anyone trying to find the place so it does not just remain faraway — there is no sign for Rutland Gate 6 Street, and people in Nungambakkam do not seem to have a clue. Look for the little signboard of the gallery instead — a bit like platform 9 and three-quarters in Harry Potter.
For more details on what's in store for the week visit http://www.artchennai.com/