Karan.

Lets be predictable and start with the obvious. Karan Kapoor’s father is Shashi Kapoor, his grand father was Prithviraj Kapoor, his uncle was Raj Kapoor, his cousin is Rishi Kapoor, his nephew is Ranbir Kapoor and his niece is Kariena Kapoor Khan. Overwhelming…isn’t it?.. and given India’s manical obsession with all things filmy, enough to steal the thunder from any individual’s sincerest efforts in self expression. The reason I chose to bring this out in the very beginning is because, by default, most would join these very dots to arrive at due conclusions about the man, then swoon over his demigod looks… and all this, before (and for some unfortunate souls, even after) seeing what he has magically created on his own…from his spirit. Therefore, I have chosen to introduce his family in relation to him and not him in relation to his family… so whilst he may also be a grandson, son, brother and uncle from ‘the’ first family of Indian films, he is, for me personally, one of the finest constructers of some of the most original imagery that I have seen in a long time!

‘Time & Tide’, his show of photographs, currently on at the Bikaner House in New Delhi, is based on (primarily ageing) Anglo-Indians in Goa. An Anglo-Indian himself, and having spent a considerable amount of time in Baga in Goa, Karan’s interest clearly arises from immortalising the last of a people caught between a racial divide. The works, in luscious silver gelatine prints, show the viewer an unseen and perhaps, for today’s generation, even a visually unrealised and unknown India. They express curious unspoken words through a candid and delightful honesty.. and also from the heartwarming humility of the artist.

Karan now lives in England with his family, and only recently surfaced in India after a hiatus of 25 years. He also indulges in commercial photography and the fact that his website does not show his artistic works is testimony to the fact that the man knows and respects the difference between money and the ‘spiritually’ material.

This show is a must see… you have until the 29th of this month to savour the goods;  the taste of which, I assure you, will linger in the deepest recesses of your core for years to come.

There’s a book too, for purchase, but don’t be boring, invest in a piece of artistic history instead!

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Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

 

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Saffron Art.

 

 

That Saffron Art is one of India’s best known Art auction houses/ advisories is a commonly known fact… that its promoter, Dinesh Vazirani  clearly knows how the dice are rolled is also well known… that his company who’s roots run more than 17 years deep also dabbles in Antiquities, Jewellery and fine Properties may also be known….but what may be lesser known is the fact that they also possess the ability to create veritable Art oasis’ in the middle of bustling cities where ‘living in a shoebox’ is the general norm; it certainly did come as a surprise for me a few weeks back.

Quite frankly, I believe that Art spaces in India still don’t enjoy the sense of scale and drama that a lot of international spaces globally do. I’ve also believed that Art needs a degree of solitude along-with subtle loneliness on the wall it is displayed on to be able to be seen in the right perspective… to be able to speak to its viewer…to be able to be intimately interpreted.

Saffron Art in Mumbai has managed all of the above and more….it has silence, another mandatory element required to appreciate intense creativity and plenty of ambling space, which gives room for the viewer to see the works from multiple distances and angles. The core reality that it is indeed just a very large square multi-textured grey space with the freedom to pull up, shift, tilt, levitate or drop walls in order to appease the curious whims of artists or collectors makes it even more appetising.

There’s an interesting choice of works on display at present in Mumbai, and whilst I have not been to their Delhi and New York spaces (which I am sure would be more than inspiring), I am looking forward to attending their auction coming up on the 21st in Delhi, where, I have no doubt, that I will witness, first hand, the master auctioneer playing to the gallery (no pun intended)!

Kudos Mr. Vazirani… for believing in a dream and for creating the perfect space to incubate it.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

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Lalala…

Yes, I’m a late bloomer but so what… and whilst I have no desire to ‘moonlight’ as a film critic, this just had to be shared…

Lalaland is an intriguingly sensitive story about dreams, passion, love, defeat, heartbreak, fate and so many other yarns beautifully and indeed, masterfully woven together using the thread of music and more specifically, jazz. I’ve always believed that brilliant cinema, like Art, should never be actually be reviewed … because that would mean the passing (and also possible mass acceptance) of a judgement based on the opinion of a solitary individual, one that may or may not reflect the soul of the masterpiece as understood and embraced by another. Art demands individual interpretation by all, each taking away something special from it… each understanding its fabric through their own will… each reminiscing about its mysterious impact on their very spirit.

Damien Chazelle, the 32 year old genius director first gave us ‘Whiplash’ and now this! No prizes for guessing who’s going back in time to discover more of his work…

Emma Stone… her performance almost warrants the creation of a new word in the dictionary as a new descriptive … an ubiquitous ‘outstanding’ and other such obvious parlance would perhaps be grossly inadequate to describe her brilliance.

Lalaland is a modern day classic … I’m sure many would have watched it by now, but for those who still haven’t, do so now… The film (and specially these words from an audition scene) will make you rethink about your own life, and, if indeed, the morning after has not obstinately pushed you back into the rigorous imprisonment of your routine existence, you may just have found yourself (and your purpose of existence) all over again… Enjoy!

Here’s to the ones who dream

Foolish as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that ache

Here’s to the mess we make…
She captured a feeling

Sky with no ceiling
The sunset inside a frame
She lived in her liquor

And died with a flicker

I’ll always remember the flame
Here’s to the ones who dream

Foolish as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that ache

Here’s to the mess we make…
She told me:

“A bit of madness is key

To give us new colors to see

Who knows where it will lead us?

And that’s why they need us”
So bring on the rebels

The ripples from pebbles

The painters, and poets, and plays
And here’s to the fools who dream

Crazy as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that break

Here’s to the mess we make…

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