Bangalore-based Rebecca Taylor who seamlessly brings together the world of caricaturing and sport
It is quite a pleasant change to see hockey under the spotlight in Rebecca Taylor's exhibition at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, “Taylored for Sports”, which features caricatures of hockey personalities from her book “Taylored for Hockey”.
The exhibition also has on display caricatures of IPL players, which she did on request from the organisers, along with a few more of world-famous sports personalities like Pele, Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong. “I have a strong background in sports. My mother was a decathlon athlete and my dad, Dominic Taylor, was a hockey player. He was the main inspiration behind the book. He would have gone on to play for the nation if not for an accident. So this book is dedicated to my dad and all the unsung hockey players, who are all heroes.”
Just a minute…
Rebecca is quick and adept with her lines. The caricatures of 22 hockey personalities took all of two days, while the caricatures of 48 IPL players took her five days to complete.
“Art and sports is a rare combination — usually artists capture politicians. I really admire these players and the determination they carry from childhood to win laurels for the country,” explains Rebecca, whose works are a tribute to sportspersons.
Caricatures are not just a bunch of quick, dextrous lines. “It's about capturing the silliest or the most serious moments in the celebrity's life. It's not just about extended facial features. The image has to be recognisable and one has to study several images to capture their attributes because it's not just a portrait or a replica.”
Even though she finds her art is all consuming, it does not restrict her or prevent her from doing other things. Rebecca juggles her art along with social work (she volunteers with the YWCA), event management and her wedding planning firm.
“Everything I do is creative. If you're a creative person, the possibilities are endless. The canvas is just a beginning, creativity is not restricted to it. I also feel that art should be done at one's own pace and time.”
Age is definitely on the side of this pretty, young artist, who stumbled upon cartooning by accident.
“One day, when I showed my paintings to V.G. Narendra (Managing trustee of the Indian Cartoon Gallery), he was impressed and asked to me to try my hand at caricatures. I even did my first caricature in oil,” recalls Rebecca, who studied fine arts at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in painting from Mysore University.
Rebecca went on to win an international jury appreciation award for her caricature of Manmohan Singh. She then won the Maya Kamath Memorial Award for the “Best Budding Cartonist” in 2009.
Art is always on her mind. “It's my first thought when I wake up and the last thought before I go to sleep. It rubs off on everything I do, even if I'm arranging flowers on a table,” says Rebecca who admires the work of a wide spectrum of artists, from Salvadore Dali to Mario Miranda.
“I plan to take my art to a platform that breaks barriers. Cartoons connect to people across all age groups. It is a powerful, non-verbal medium and I want to make a difference in the world through them.”
She intends to bring her art to the masses and put it to constructive use by creating illustrative visuals for fire safety regulations, for instance, or through housing projects. “I want to take it to places where even electricity has not reached. One day, I hope to make the nation proud of me and my work.”
“Taylored for Sports” will be on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, #1, Midford House, Midford Garden, Near Big Kids Kemp, off M.G. Road, until May 12. For details, contact 41758540.