Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Criticize Gandhiji but Have at least Tennis Balls to Say You Did it

(Protima Bedi streaking at Juhu Beach 1974)


What is the best way to get attention in the public space? As we all wear clothes, nudity could attract a lot of attention. Protima Bedi had done streaking in Mumbai, which had created a lot of hue and cry in 1970s. I still remember a grainy black and white photograph of Protima Bedi’s back in the Illustrated Weekly (1974).

I will jot down a few more ways to get public attention: climbing an electricity tower, attempting self immolation at a public square, throwing shoes at a dignitary in a press conference, making appearance with super stars, paying up public relation agencies etc.

When I speak of making appearance with super stars, I think of the opposite; you can get publicity by doing acts of desecration on Public figure aka super stars. Attacking a religious monument comes from this mental state. Throwing a stone at a super star would definitely bring you attention.

(Universal Super Star of Humanity - Mahatma Gandhi)

Mahatma Gandhiji is one of the biggest superstars India has ever produced. I should say Mahatma Gandhiji is a reigning super star of the world. For Apple and Monte Blanc, Gandhiji is a universal icon of ‘communication’ and ‘writing’. Marshal MacLuhan would say, medium is massage and message too.

Hence, trailing a gun at Gandhi or showering flower petals on him again and again is an international sport played by writers, artists, film makers, sociologists, cultural theorists, politicians and advertising kings.


(Think Different- Apple's appropriation of the Universal Icon Mahatma Gandhi)

So we have artists who recall Gandhiji in their works. Most of them are critical of the ways in which the image of Gandhiji is used in the public spaces. The socio-political and cultural ironies are caught by them in their works. Gandhiji is a body and icon at the same time to be deconstructed and re-constructed. Each time he is deconstructed, he throws open the possibilities of reconstruction too.

Gandhiji was not a flawless god. He was a human being that walked on the earth. Hence, critiquing him would come natural. Criticism is leveled at flawed creatures.

But any kind of critique should come with a tremendous amount historical understanding and daring. Gandhiji is a knowledge system in himself. So attacking him culturally needs another knowledge system.

(The writer in Gandhiji. Monte Blanc chooses this icon to advertise their pen)

Here is an artist in Debanjan Roy who does funny portraiture of Gandhiji. I happened to see a series of works by him in Ahmedabad, presented by Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata. Each work by this artist is a social and cultural offence. You may ask why I say so.

Let me answer that question. The artist presents his Gandhiji as dwarfish impish character with a stupid smile on his face. He is protected by highly armed security guards etc. Gandhiji could be seen doing different chores. The artist must be thinking it as a critical intervention on the ‘narrative’ of/on Gandhiji.

But his works are a socio cultural offence because this artist has no clue of portraiture or caricature. You can discard this argument as a formalist one. Okay, my second argument, this artist, through these caricature sculptures thinks that he is praising Gandhiji and critiquing a system. But how can you praise your mother or father by making their ugly portraits?

(work by Debanjan Roy)

Ahmedabad is one of the twelve sensitive cities where the law and order authorities say that a riot could break out on socio-religious and political lines. On the eve of this show, Ayodhya Verdict was declared but the city remained calm. This city of Gandhiji proved its allegiance with Gandhian philosophy. But somehow, the Ahmedabadians missed this show.

I believe, if there was a riot, it would have been to stop this show. But then Gandhians do not believe in rioting, right?

(R.K.Laxman's Gandhiji)

Perhaps, I am okay with an artist forwarding critique on Gandhiji because I have grown up by looking at the cartoons of Shankar, Kutty, Abu Abraham, R.K.Laxman and OV Vijayan who had severely caricatured Gandhiji. But they had a reason to do so but they were not irreverent either.

Here this artist, when a controversy came up in Bangalore, said that he was all for Gandhiji and it is his way of praising him.

(Hutch is now Vodafone. But Gandhiji is not now like this. The controversial work in Bangalore)

Come on artist, have you seen the works of the Chinese contemporary artists who have extensively critiqued Mao and his political hands through distorted portrayals? None of them said that they were praising Mao. This is a sculpture by Gao Brothers. And now you know from where our artist in question takes off. When you have a reason to caricature you stand by that. Why do you say that you love Gandhi so you make him like an imp and put a crow on his head?

(Miss Mao by Gao Brothers- China)

(Mao Jackets by Sui Jianguo)

My plea to Indian contemporary artists is this much: When you critique something or someone through your work of art, stand by it. Don’t reverse your arguments at the face of a controversy or negative approach by the state.

(an Indian does not need any explanation for this picture)

We live in a democracy that’s why artists like this are still roaming around in this country. So believe in democracy and respect it too. If you find Gandhiji is too heavy a subject, please don’t handle it. And if you are taking Gandhiji as an easy way to fame and fortune, do it, but do it with guts.

A critique is a critique. And when it is placed in the public, always be sure that you are answerable. If you are not ready to be accountable, why do you touch heavy weights like Gandhiji? Just be happy by doing watercolors of Kolkata streets.



33 comments:

puja said...

an interesting look out...i cant comment on this particular artist's works as i have'nt seen them in person...firstly,i think it is totally a personal perception if you see caricature of gandhiji as criticising him...the artist could genuinly paying him an ode....secondly i would want your opinion on M F Hussain's depiction on Bharat mata(i dont think he tried to denigrate India in any way)...but there are lots who think so...and there are lots of arguments for and against it...i'm sure these artists have their own way of expressing....

Somu Desai said...

Hi Jml, i have been seeing these images by this artist for sometime both in fb and elsewhere. I was not comfortable with the works and could not say anything on them. But now as you have come up with an interesting criticism on those works, let me say something from my side. My father, Kikubhai Pranubhai Desai left his body in 2003. My mother has kept his photograph in our living room. Now, the question is how can I do something against this photograph or with this photogrpah? Can I make an obscene move towards it, like pelting a stone or spitting or something and say that I do all these because I love him a lot? Come on my artist, give me a break. It is good to love and respect people. Respect their deeds. If I do something against a respectable person, I do because I have the following reasons: 1) I hate this perosn, 2) I want to do something different with him and his image, 3) I dont have a healthy brain to think better, 4) I want to attract people's attention. This artist has done all these in one go. So dear artist friend, be around with intelligent people with healthy thinking. I, both as a social individual and artist, condemn such art that is done for the sake of doing.
loving someone means giving him freedom, and not taking freedom.
Somu Desai

JohnyML said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnyML said...

@Puja...it is absolutely valid that artists' pay homage by playing around the established images. I welcome that practice. But when you play around with an image you should have absolute grip on the systems of knowledge that have produced this image. MF Husain did not do anything with Bharat Mata. He did it with Sita. Bharat Mata case was a super imposition of the Hindutva idea of Sita on Husain's painting. Portraying India as a nude woman is not a problem at all. All the classical art is about portraying goddesses in absolute nudity as they embody an idea rather than a person. Husain was dealing with the idea of India, which is not embodied in one person. Artists have the freedom to play around with images. But one should be aware of the consequences when one speaks of freedom. Your freedom is limited to your elbows, isn't it? jml

Sagar said...

If using shock treatment is an attention getting behaviour, then you are equally guilty of putting up Protima Bedi's nude photo in the lead. You are more guilty of hypocrisy. How else a self-styled Johny like you will get any audience? A critic should stick to the form and content of the work rather than making personal attacks on the artist and the city he comes from. He has no business to advice the artist what kind of work he should rather be doing. If the artist is wrong in his depiction you disagree with, then you are doing the same here by maligning him just because you disagree with his representation. No art critic worth his salt asks silly melodramatic questions like "How can you praise your mother or father by making their ugly portraits?" Your knowledge and background of the art history is suspect. Incredibly you say, "I believe, if there was a riot (in Ahmedabad), it would have been to stop this show. But then Gandhians do not believe in rioting, right?" What do you say about the Hussain case Mr. Johny? And the infamous riots of Ahmedabad? We would be happy to hear about your take on artistic freedom, accountability and right of viewer in the light of Hussain vrs hooligans.

yakjah said...

Critique of Gandhi is not just a critique of Gandhi's person but also the State that has appropriated him to present its 'human' face. So any form of irreverence to Gandhi or for that of any other state appropriated icon is art.

JohnyML said...

Dear Sagar,

I call any one comes to me for help, mainly psychological help, 'son' because weak people need help. So son, you qualified me as 'self styled johny's'. You don't have the balls to reveal you identity. Do that first and then we will talk.

best

jml

Sagar said...

Mr. Johny

What are you getting so offended about, I merely called your name in a tongue in the cheek way. Are you not Mr. Johny?

You are calling me your son and asking me to reveal my identity if "I have the balls". No father I have come across uses this language to his son and that too in public forum. It really shows your pedigree and culture. If you can not take criticism yourself, then you have no business to make personal attacks on artists or others who disagree with your views.

Instead of taking it to a personal level why don't you answer the points I raised on my mail.
Give me your email Id and I will send my details.

Regards

JohnyML said...

Mr.Sagar,

There is no point in talking to you.

You are talking about pedigree..

I am vary of such people...who talk more of pedigree than sense..

jml

Sagar said...

Dear JML

Relax. If you call others by name, then surely you should not expect bouquets in return. OK, it is not taking us anywhere, let's keep the personal jibe apart both ways, and talk about your post.

You wrote "...But somehow, the Ahmedabadians missed this show. I believe, if there was a riot, it would have been to stop this show. But then Gandhians do not believe in rioting, right?"

Are you suggesting if the work was on somebody else who were not Gandhians, they would have a right to attack the art show if they disagreed and would be justified? What is your stand on vandalism of the MSU artist's work a few years ago? Is it justifiable by you?

I would also appreciate you answering my first mail. I still can't figure out what nude Protima Bedi is doing on a critic on Gandhi if not for sensationalism? You are the victim of the same syndrome you are criticizing. It is called intolerance. Thanks

Soumik said...

I think Johny, you are right.Your observations need to be taken seriously because of its larger implications. There are plenty of such cases where artists are taking a certain stance but remaining terribly under-informed of the subject they are attempting to handle. I am sorry to say,its not only about the lack of guts, but also about a pathetic aversion to knowledge, study and some cerebral excercise.
Thanks for the post.
Soumik

bhanu pratap said...

I would nearly agree to what you said Johny sir. From the two works I have seen from the said artist, they appeared weak and feeble. Not an intense practice of either portraiture or caticature. The artworks seem stuck between the two ends, so it seems the case the artists opinion of gandhiji. Personally, I think one should handle iconic figures only when one is technically sure than they can make the work seem beyond than just the iconic figure, but what happens in reality(a sad part of Indian art scene), where there are too many 'creative' gandhi paintings, is that artists with lack of knowledge and various faculties attempt at iconic figures as subject of their work, more often than not trying to fool the viewer into not looking at the lack of depth in their concepts and work itself.
Its still easier to make a 'pretty' painting if you just draw from a pretty subject.

And your other point seems valid too, using icons to shoot yourself to fame. But then its a far stupid Idea, as you said if one doesnt have the balls, to pull it off, because firstly, the icon will easily overpower you and secondly if you are not courageous enough to make a good image out of it, your work will just be another decibel in white noise.
So yes, if one wants to deal with these superhuman icons, better have the balls to attempt, because otherwise one will just get crushed. Or worse one will just become a figure in backdrop, an exra in a bollywood movie.

JohnyML said...

Dear Sagar,

Malcolm X said, 'I am violent to those people who are violent to me and I am non-violent to those people who are non-violent to me.' I have done extensive researches in the literature and philosophy of M.K.Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela. And I like Malcolm X a lot. And if you know, the name of my blog, By All Means Necessary comes from Malcolm X.

I took it personally because I don't like people taking things personally. You did it in your first posting.

My stance on Chandramohan issue. Please refer to this link http://www.artconcerns.net/2007MayBaroda/index.htm

I was the founder editor of the aforementioned magazine. And you seem to be totally new to the scene and don't know anything that JohnyML did during those months of confusion. Research yourself to find your answers.

Had it been any other party, would I have endorsed vandalism in Ahmedabad? That's your question. I would not endorse any kind of violence lest it is asked for. Now you may cling on to this. So, let me tell you, my comment on the 'rioting' was metaphoric not literal. For a writer metaphors are important.

Protima Bedi and her nudity. I did not conjure up this picture from nowhere. It is available in the net. I refer her and her streaking in the context of getting public attention. Your misreading of the image is so loose that you thought I use this image for getting public attention. Yes, nudity attracts public attention. And my readers are varied. Who can say that they are not attracted by nudity? What's wrong with it? And I have not used Protima's picture for the sake of using it.

About melodramatic questions: Don't you know the techniques used by a writer, like rhetoric and polemic? Melodrama moves people. Art history involves a lot of melodrama- from Vasari to Gombrich to Berger to Benjamin to Carol Duncan to Judith Butler to Linda Nochlin to your Irwin Stone to Dan Brown (I know you dispute these names). You need a few Indian names, Sivarama Murti, Anand Coomaraswami coming down to KGS and Sheikh. Read them.

No person in Indian art scene or art academies suspect my credibility in art history. If they, I openly welcome them to have debates with me. You have doubts because you dont know a thing about art history.

I am not an apologist for MF Husain. If people have vandalised his works, they have paid for it either politically or socially.

best regards

jml

JohnyML said...

Thank you Soumik and Bhanu Pratap for valuable comments....

love

jml

Sagar said...

Dear JML

This response makes much more sense, only wish it was less of narcissistic hyperbole than the actual issue. You got easily provoked by my comment without realizing you are doing the same thing to the artist whose work you disagree or someone who dares to comment on your post. Think about it in a cool mind. I have no problems with
the examples you given on melodrama. But it is presumptuous of you to say "I know you dispute these names" without knowing a thing about me. It is also childish of you, the revered critic, to say I don't know anything about art! It's good that you are a Gandhian scholar and have a wide perspective on the matter. But the viewer of the 'irreverent' (my quotes) art of Roy need not necessarily have to be a Gandhian and their views must be as valid. They don't have to carry the burden of Gandhian scholarship you say you carry, in order to appreciate art. Your whole post is full about 'me' 'myself' self publicity. It wont hurt if there was a little bit of objectivity, patience and accomodation of other views were shown. While any art can be totally subjective, art criticism is not. It has to be objective analysis devoid of personal bias. Or else it is a mindless rant of self importance.

It was good to have conversed with you. In future it wont be as volatile, I hope. Best regards.

LotusEater said...

Hi J

Firstly, it is a poor work,lacking substance. Something an 11 year old who has been refused play time and detained at home, having nothing better to do and spends the weekend watching too much television would do. Com'on, what would an attention seeking juvenile do - can we have anything more cliched. 10 out of 10 for cliche.

Oh! and Balls; now if he had stood by his denigration and defended it by theory ( which i have not come across yet)then hats off to him, why hat, underwears off too. But sadly, after seeing the work, and his backpedaling on the issue i will be keeping my underwear on today.

By the way i am glad you are calling out the stupid. I have often wondered when will art criticism reach the levels of say movie criticism, in our country. A movie critic will call out a bad work of an Amithab or Amir or Salman, or SRK, or even a Shaji or an Adoor ( though they very seldom make bad works), but when it comes to artists, boy are we one big happy smiling family now aren't we. There are no reviews, only catalogue essays!

May the Force be with you.

JohnyML said...

Hi Sagar,

I don't know what to say now. You have not yet got over the bad taste in your mouth. You refuse to reveal your identity and still demand that I should know about you.

Yes, there is a lot of narcissism in me. That makes me a writer.

Anyway, I cannot carry on with this as it is becoming an ego trip for you.

Next time, if we come to know each other, we should be able to start off with a hug.

Still, I thank you for engaging yourself in this dialogue..

best regards

jml

JohnyML said...

My dear Lotus Eater,

You have missiles with you always....I love them when they hit the target.

Now people will take it for johnyml being a pro-war critic. Such is life.

I love your allusions. Khalid Mohammed was forced out of HT because he was irreverent towards the superstars in Bollywood.

Luckily they cannot force me out of my own blog.

Let us fly our beloved underpants (but washed clean and perfumed)) high.....

These days we don't have even catalogue essays. But modern time witches doing soothsaying around a cauldron of frogs and froth...

love

jml

scldrgnfly said...

If one cannot agree or disagree with Gandhi or anyone for that matter, with the same level of ethic they would follow, you have lost your ground. You have nothing else to do, but fall, and then, you are beneath them and all of us.

AND, unless one has the highest motives in the product one sells, it is disingenuous to use the highest attributes of the icon one chooses to represent his or her product-whether physical, intellectual or philosophical!

If these things are not so, this icon, becomes a meaningless pawn with a famous name. The icon is, simply used, with much guile, for personal gain.

Art as Art said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hemant Sonawane's Studio said...

@JML,

I resonate with your view that in-depth study of a subject is essential before we represent it in Any form. ART IS VOID WITHOUT INTEGRITY. But if someone is doing it for commerce (or without a long-term vision), then such art will die a natural death sooner or later. Isn't it?


It is WE the society - that grant 'STATUS IN HISTORY' to a work by acknowledging it, by voicing our approval or disapproval over it.

Let's presume - If that Gandhiji Installation was indeed created to raise cheap publicity, then hasn't that artist succeeded by provoking critics to write about him?


If not for your beautifully researched article, how many people in your wide readership would have found it important to 'discuss' that artwork? It would have definitely created a short furor and then be forgotten after a while..


It is when renowned critics like YOU find it important to write about a particular artwork, that it gets acknowledged/remembered so widely...in society and in history.


Love & Regards,
~ Hemant

Grumpy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grumpy said...

Purpose of art is not merely to decorate hotel lobby or be the currency for investment. It is first and foremost a means of expression that sometimes challenges convention, create dissent, provoke dialogue, break the status quo. That's how artists and poets enjoy their unique position in society as free thinkers. Those who get hurt by their expression have closed their mind's windows and refuse to see any alternate vision because of the comfort zone of their existence. It is the artist's job to occasionally stir things up so that we are open to unique possibilities.

As Indians we have a very short fuse. We stop TV serials when our revered icon Subhash Bose is shown sipping alcohol. We burn books and libraries when another icon Shivaji is shown with human frailties. A popular columnist is reprimanded in Parliament for calling Tagore a holy cow. Therefore it is not surprising that people may take offence as Gandhi's representation here goes beyond the stereotype. But what is surprising is it comes from a critic who incites people to stop the Gandhi exhibition forcibly, while saying he is not an apologist for Hussain! Such deplorable double standards.

Debanjan's art challenges our conditioned perception. It attacks the deity-fication of revered icons without questioning. None of the sculptures are visually offensive, unless you have an allergy for red. He has good skills and a unique (albeit controversial) vision.

Gandhi in trousers with a dog, speaking on mobile phone could be a senior citizen taking a stroll at a neighborhood park. It is a "what if" kind of visualization, nothing derogatory about it. But beneath the surface there is a comment on the Gandhi 'brand', as inadvertantly illustrated by your Apple & Mont Blanc ads; which iroincally validates the purpose of Roy's artwork. Every act of Gandhi was a communication strategy: His dress, his actions, his major campaigns. In fact Sarojini Naidu once asked publicly when Gandjhiji was still alive, "How much does it cost the nation to keep Gandhi in poverty?" The artwork is a caustic comment on the Gandhi brand of communication strategy.

The other sculpture of Gandhiji flanked by two (British?) soldiers is more complex and leaves room for many interpretations. The association of the popular image of Gandhi with two female escorts– his nieces, have been replaced by military in a friendly gesture. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/pimu/1356204660/ ) Could it be some sexual allusion? Could it be a critic on non-violence? Could it be the perception in some quarters that Gandhi made it easy for British for an honorable retreat? Anyone's guess and more. And therein lies the success of this art.

All these are freely discussed in text and on TV, why should it be a taboo in art? Don't condemn a budding artist's work because it is beyond your comprehension. Who knows whether he will be a Subodh Gupta or Damien Hirst of future?

LotusEater said...

Hi Grumpy

These are bad works. I am not debating if they are wrong. There are no wrong works; only good ones, bad ones, or ugly ones,

And the works tell you that he is not going to be SG or DH. Not with this shallow approach.Com'on, dude. Lets be real here!

Sorry to rain on your parade.

cheers

JohnyML said...

@ Hemant...thanks for your comment. Of course, this has given some kind of presence to this artist's works. But as Andy Warhol said, there is only one kind of publicity, that is publicity. Critique also indirectly results into publicity. A thirsty anti-coke activist will drink coke if he is in a place where he needs to choose between coke and dirty water. That is what is called criticality. We need to pass through this. Thanks for your valuable comment.

@ Grumpy.. you were joggin your mind very well. But by the end of the jogging you seem to have got really tired. If this artist is slated to become a Subodh or Hirst, then I don't have any comment on your observations because these two artists are highly gifted in both strategy and aesthetics. I doubt this artist has that. Why a subodh or hirst? Why not he establish on his own name? We don't need Indian Picassos and Damien Hirsts. Do you know what the Guardian critic commented on the works of MF Husain presented in the Indian Highway show at the Serpentine Gallery? 'It is nothing but the repetition of western modernism. Picasso had done it decades back. What is Mr.Husain doing here'. These are not exactly the words, but meaning remains the same. Anyway, thanks for thinking aloud.

@ Lotus Eater, I trust your wit and discerning capacity. And I agree with you, in formal terms that there are only good, bad and ugly. Only frogs turn into princes at night. But some one needs to burn the skin by force or by default. Who will do that? :-)

scldrgnfly said...

What a profound and meaningful dialogue you have created!

Every comment makes me think more deeply about the issues raised.

Is a picture worth a thousand words?

Or- is one care-fully raised question worth an infinite number of thoughts?

Leading to an exquisite dialogue of the minds -

that thrills the soul.

Is this not ART? --Without guile?

scldrgnfly said...

I have a question that I have been thinking for a long time, that is a tangent of this discussion.

I have a cousin who, for a time, and at times may still create works of multimedia art that used(s) everyday thrown away items, and made what I would consider very transient art. Art that could make a statement today, about today, yet relevant to the past, present and future.

BUT, I wondered--would it have the strength to make a statement tomorrow, about yesterday, today or tomorrow --or--would it shortly, return to the heap from which it came?

Was getting people to discuss its meaning just today sufficient to establish its worth.

Is it prideful to think one's art should last forever?

I am in the process of making a video of a man's art that stands in a field with vines beginning to grow up its posts, making it look as if the land is beginning to devour it. It will soon be moved from the place where it has stood, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a field, for 50 years and will stand in a park, in the middle of a city.

Now, it reminds me of Michelangelo's "Slaves," "unfinished," but perfect.

Of what will it remind me in a park, away from its open field?

The park is on a hill. The "Whirlygigs" will catch the wind.
The field was on lowland. The "Whirlygigs" with their reflective parts caught the lights of passing vehicles. Something will be lost.

Why can't some things and messages last forever? Conveying the same meaning?

Is change the thing of which we must make sense? Is that the one thing we cannot stop in its tracks? The one puzzle without a solution?

And--why is change and difference so difficult to tolerate?

Why must it be so important to almost everyone to be the same?

As you can see, from my opinion of my cousin's work (I had not the courage to voice it)--I suffer from the need to be the same.

Thank you for this discussion.

JohnyML said...

Hi Scldrgnfly,

thank you very much for those valuable observations and comments. I wish you all the success for the video project. And it is important to be different and an oppressive sense of sameness pervades our individual lives we tend to differ through creating the difference. Difference is enduring and interesting. But difference does not mean distorting....thanks...jml

scldrgnfly said...

Thank you, so much for this blog, JML!!

I am learning so much from all of you and this discussion.

I see that I have much to learn!!

All of you have been making such open statements and so many of them are quite profound.

I hope to share my video with you when I am finished with it. I will use local, North Carolina music with it--and you will see a part of American culture, that few really see!

You might call it "Backwoods Urban." As I am going through the footage, as a product designer, I see how it, can be, if a piece of art is moved from its original "home."

I don't know if I was really aware of how important "place" could be, and even season to a piece of art, until one winter, I took my children to see, "Fallingwater," the Frank Lloyd Wright home in the rural Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

I had taken my children to see it several times, but only in the spring and summer, when the weather was pleasant and the countryside rich with mountain laurel.

In the winter, outside in the snow, even though, there is much green, everything seems cold and dead and the winds are still in Bear Run. The only sounds come from the few birds that have stayed on for the winter and the falling water of the unfrozen stream.

Inside, the cave-like feeling of "Fallingwater" and the stones and concrete with which it was built seemed to come to life with a richness of color, one really cannot imagine in the cold of winter, especially when attributed to stone and concrete! It is like an aperture opening, and only being aware of the life going on inside this exquisite place.

I immediately realized, I knew when Frank Lloyd Wright had seen the property and had begun to formulate a design - the winter!

I asked the guide, and she said he had indeed come to see the property for the first time in November of 1934 and until actual construction began, he only saw the property in the fall!

The more commonly understood sense of placement for "Fallingwater," is a fact, contrary to the owner's (Edgar Kaufman, Sr), and most people's assumption, that viewing the waterfall over which "Fallingwater" is built, would be best. Frank Lloyd Wright, with a Zen sense, chose auditory stimulation above visual, what a gifted choice.

For some reason, he knew, one can become accustomed to the visual stimuli and begin to ignore it, while the rhythmic sounds of the falling water create such an intense peaceful feeling, it seems to control your emotions. As if the falls are willing you to relax and ponder the moment and place in which you are!

So--why did I take you on this tangent??? I think it is because-maybe I see the need to explore the sense of enrichment all of us, as artists, can influence--even control the world, by using it as a force to create the emotions and feelings we wish people had.

In essence, I mean, create art that, creates good, tolerance and peace - be careful, that we do not participate in meaningless arguments for the sake of argument, with superfluous idiots that choose to divide all of us.

By having this discussion, JML has raised some incredibly poignant questions--and with his and Somu's (I don't know the others involved) call for Indian Artist's to Unite, I am so very impressed with the exquisite possibilities. It is very exciting to see!

I hope it is earth changing!

Thank you for letting me post.

To think we live in the shadows of the same moon, is a wonderful thing.

inder salim said...

NICE READING U ON GANDHI

Grumpy said...

Sorry I was away and couldn't respond.

@Lotus Eater: I agree with you that there are only good, bad and ugly work. in this context let the time tell.

@JohnyML: My comments on SG or DH are not my own views. I think both are brilliant, even though I can not stomach viewing DH's work because of my weak nerves. But the fact is, the world is divided on DH's work and its ethics and ethical notions on the limits of representation. It creates the same kind of revulsion to many, just as Roy's work seemed to have done to you – because of your personal admiration of Gandhi seems to have got hurt. Here is something for some of your readers to chew on to better understand one of the works cited by you:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/thrill-of-the-chaste-the-truth-about-gandhis-sex-life-1937411.html

PS: I checked other items in your blog and I have become a fan. Good work pal.

JohnyML said...

Thanks Grumpy....

best

jml

Mitesh said...

Sir ganghi was really an awesome man I had tried a lot to become like him but I am not successful till now.
http://www.theindependentindia.com