A few years ago a very talented artist from Newark Jerry Gant, invited me to participate in a show he was putting together at the WBGO Radio station there. Being that WBGO is primarily a jazz station, I chose to paint a portrait of Dizzy. As an artist, I believe more and more that you can only work with what you know. Dizzy Gillespie and his music is a personal experience for me. My encounter with his music and introduction to Jazz happened many years ago in the city of Kolkata – my hometown at the time. I recall him arching his ears to catch a prayer tune at a nearby mosque, playing it on his saxophone, and then improvising on it, while we listened to him stunned and amazed! Not a beat was lost in translation! Today both Dizzy and Kolkata are far from my daily experience yet both are ingrained deep within my consciousness…
The recent attempt to blow up and hurt people again by a wannabe home grown terrorist leading to broken shards flying helter-skelter in mid town Manhattan and parts in Jersey made me think of the show, so cleverly put together at the Lodge gallery a year or two ago where each artist dwelled on commonplace NYC elements and transformed them with a bit of love potion and pixie dust! Here’s beautiful song that came to mind when I saw those cautionary words on the subway steps.
In the land of dungeons and dragons, misty rain and cold blustery winds, the Christmas market sprawled along the face of a hill with its wares both made by local artisans indigenous to Scotland as well as those made in China. Next door, 400 artists worldwide exhibiting their works at the National Museum.
“Primal Colors”, stills from a performative piece – Hunger, Thirst, Shelter and Faith – based on the celebrated words of Steve Jobs, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”, are expressions of a visceral state stripped of acquired emblems of validation.
Flight of the Unicorn and the rest of the works in this series are a reflection on childhood as a time of innocence and possibilities. These works address the ephemeral nature of things in a child’s life and imagination inviting the viewer to revisit a place of hope and innocence – however fleeting!
The mythological centaur with its human head in the act of reining in primal forces, coping with the dichotomy of human experience – between starkness of power and the calm introspective Self. Believing in Sivka Burka is a mockup of an inter-disciplinary project. Sivka Burka is a magical horse in the Russian fairy tales I grew up with far from the Soviet Union.