Showing posts with label Yusuf Arakkal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yusuf Arakkal. Show all posts

10 Oct 2016

Tribute: Remembering Yusuf Arakkal

Eminent artist Yusuf Arakkal breathed his last on Oct 4, 2016 in Bangalore. The following article was published in Times of India as my tribute to him.

Even though Yusuf Arakkal was suffering from ill health in the past few years, the news of his demise came as a shock. He had become increasingly frail and reticent in the last few months, a pale shadow of his flamboyant and extroverted self. Arakkal’s last exhibition, held earlier this year, was on portraits of several artists - a project that he had been working on for many years. That was also perhaps his last social appearance.
Tribute: Remembering Yusuf Arakkal by Nalini Malaviya published in Times of India, Bangalore
A significant name on the Indian and global art landscape, Arakkal had traversed miles in the course of his career. His haunting images with protagonists hovering haltingly in the depth of the shadows were dark and powerful. His tryst with harsh realities and chance encounters with the underprivileged and the oppressed created lifelong scars that continued to be translated on canvas. Yet, importantly, he painted not out of pity but in empathy, perhaps an effort to heal his own scars carried from years gone by. However, the sombre colours on his palette were in a sharp contrast to his own persona. Cheerful, stylish and a great conversationalist, Arakkal was vocal about his opinions and not afraid to go against the tide. He also wrote extensively for various newspapers and publications, raising concerns, sharing anecdotes and creating art awareness.
Tribute: Remembering Yusuf Arakkal by Nalini Malaviya published in Times of India, Bangalore 
I remember him as a warm, generous person who was passionate about art and was one of those rare people who are committed to helping others - upcoming artists and writers, without any material expectations. He gave his heart and soul in every friendship and his one regret was that many a times he was let down by them.

The Christ series, which he had completed and hoped to show in Rome, could not materialise, nor has it been shown in Bangalore. His interpretation infused with elements from multiple sources - rituals and traditions of Kerala, his birthplace and his readings from mythology, epics and sacred texts from various religions, such as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism makes it special. Another book on murals and sculptures lies incomplete, with images collected but the text yet to be done.

His contribution to Indian art and the Bangalore art scene in particular is immeasurable. Rest in peace, for as Oscar Wilde said, “Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.”

Also read,

21 Jun 2016

Art News: Art Scene India Recommends

Art Scene India Recommends: 

Here's a round up of art exhibitions and events for you to visit - most of these are in Bangalore. Do visit them and let me know your views. Which ones resonated with you? Drop me a line here. I look forward to hearing from you.


June 21, 2016, Today
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June 26, 2016, Sunday

Galerie Sara Arakkal presents Yusuf Arakkal's "FACES OF CREATIVITY", an exhibition of 135 Indian artists portrait with a Book launch.
Inline image 2

Gallery Sumukha marks its 20th year since 1996 and celebrates with the opening of 'An Inner Retrospective'
Solo by K. Laxma Goud, with curatorial inputs from Marta Jakimowicz

‘The Limited Edition’ is an exhibition which pays homage to the art of printmaking. The exhibition consists of prints produced during a two week long printmaking workshop organized within the gallery space. The workshop brought together important pedagogies of Indian printmaking. Artists from Santiniketan, Baroda, Kheragarh, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mysore were part of the atelier.



17 Oct 2014

Art News: An Eclectic Collection

The eleventh annual show at Galerie Sara Arakkal, Bangalore has some interesting works on display.

Adimoolam K.M Queen 21''x14'',  Ink on paper, 11th annual show, Galerie Sara Arakkal, Art Scene India
In Bangalore, the annual show by Galerie Sara Arakkal has attained a ritualistic flavour and is held sometime between August and September every year. It has become a meeting point of artists of all ages and from across the length and breadth of the country. In its eleventh edition this year, the exhibition once again brings together contemporary artists from Bangalore and elsewhere to showcase their works.

Some of the artists whose works are included in the show are Adimoolam K M, Anjoli Ela Menon, Azis T M, Bharathi Sagar, C F John, Gopinath S, Gurudas Shenoy, Jasu Rawal, Mridul Chandra, Md. Rizwan, Rekha Rao, Shanthamani M, Shirley Mathew, Seema Kohli, S G Vasudev, Venugopal V G and Yusuf Arakkal. This year Galerie Sara Arakkal has introduced four new artists Aishwaryan K, Lokesh B H, Nedunchelian and Thirumala Thirupathi.
Aishwaryan.K  Menasu, Gouache& Indian ink Elephant dung paper 2, 18''x18'' 2014 11th annual show, Galerie Sara Arakkal, Art Scene IndiaYusuf Arakkal Still life, oil on canvas, 18''x18'' 11th annual show, Galerie Sara Arakkal, Art Scene India
 Azis  Untitled Acrylic on canvas, 18''x18'' 2014 11th annual show, Galerie Sara Arakkal, Art Scene India
There are some very good works on show and the pricing is also on the affordable side. On the whole, this exhibition is interesting because it brings together such diverse artists together on a single platform, but the lack of a curatorial intervention is quite evident.

One feels that there is huge potential to turn it into a major forum in Southern India for showcasing some of the finest art from a select group of artists. And, one hopes that this is taken into account when planning for next year’s annual event.

 The show will continue daily at Galerie Sara Arakkal till 31st October 2014

Let me know if you visit the show. And, which works did you like?

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7 Aug 2014

Touch of Colour With Art

 Transform your home with an exclusive work of art - hand painted furniture adds a splash of vibrant colours in interiors

Hand painted furniture by artist Yusuf Arakkal, Image courtesy artist, Art Scene IndiaEverybody looks for that special and unique element in our surroundings, which can stand out and create a statement and define their style. Art has an intrinsic ability to transform the dynamics of the space and create an instant impression about the owner’s personality and taste. Paintings and sculptures are commonly used in home décor and are traditional forms of art; there are several other innovative and unconventional options.
Hand painted furniture by artist Mahirwan Mamtani, Image courtesy artist, Art Scene India
One can opt for unusual and fun objects that are personalized, for instance hand painted furniture or other functional objects. Hand painted furniture such as tables and chairs have been popular for a long time, and limited edition and exclusive pieces painted by artists are also coveted for their distinctive style and individuality.
Hand painted furniture by artist Mahirwan Mamtani, Image courtesy artist, Art Scene India
The idea is to display an original piece of artwork which completely fits into the space, yet reflects your personality faithfully. Therefore, a piece of furniture painted by an artist into a colourful work of art can easily become a centerpiece - these can be fun and quirky, have a vintage feel or have a folk art influence!
One can obtain these objects of furniture from art exhibitions which are built around such concepts or have
Article published in The Times of India-The Address, Bangalorean artist create it according to your specifications. The latter allows greater freedom and helps in personalizing the artwork completely, and in the process helps in creating something totally unique.

Functional and utilitarian objects are rarely seen as objects of décor and adding a dash of colour and personality to them can be immensely satisfying. Art need not always be serious and contemplative, but can also be whimsical. On the other hand, artist designed and painted furniture need not be only about portraits, figures and bright colours, but these can also have a monochrome palette, use abstract motifs and be minimal, depending on your choice.

This article was published in The Times of India-The Address recently. 
Images courtesy artists Mahirwan Mamtani and Yusuf Arakkal.

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3 Jun 2014

Art Cars: Vehicles of Personal Artistic Expression

Some of you might be aware that I used to write a weekly column on art for Bangalore Mirror for a few years. Recently, while organizing my articles, I came across this one which was written on art cars.  In fact, this was soon after I had written the catalogue essay for artist Yusuf Arakkal, when he was exhibiting his modified 1956 Italian Fiat Millecento. Although, this article was written and published in 2009, I think you may still find it relevant!

Art Car

Last week, I was conducting some research on an art car and came across so much material that I felt the concept would appeal to a larger audience. The term is used to refer to an automobile that has been modified in order to alter its physical appearance. People use paint – poster colours or oil paints – to create their own designs and patterns on the body of the vehicle. Some use additional material to alter the appearance drastically and convert them into sculptural works. The idea behind this concept is to give vent to ones artistic expression or to personalize the vehicle and make it appear individualistic. This, incidentally, is not the same as customizing your car according to specific needs.
Art Car by artist Yusuf Arakkal, image courtesy artist

In fact, some of it even stems from a rebellious approach to a factory made or mass produced object. The desire is to create something distinctive that would stand out in a crowd. Although, there are a few professional artists who design art cars, there are many more who are amateurs. Sometimes the term ‘cartists’ are used to refer to them. Amongst professional artists, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein designed and painted BMW racing cars. Warhol in fact painted his car in approximately 23 minutes while Lichtenstein designed the painting taking into consideration the principles of aerodynamics. The car was painted in such a way that it reflected the passing scenery – flashes of green and yellow from the surrounding landscape.
BMW Art Car (BMW M3 GTR) designed by Sandro Chia at BMW Museum Munich, Author Olli1800
While some owners just paint their cars to reflect their belief or ideology and ensure that the car remains in a functional state, there are others who modify it to the extent where they become exhibits. The utilitarian value of the automobile is lost and these are transported from one place to another as display pieces. With time, art car has grown hugely in popularity – mainly in the US – and there are dedicated events, groups, road shows and museums for this purpose.
1985 BMW 635CSi painted by Robert Rauschenberg, Author Davidwiz

Although, abroad the concept of an art car has been around for years, and has seen exception popularity especially in the US, it is still not a very common practice in India. However, in the late 1960s M F Husain is known to have painted his car.

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4 Feb 2011

Art Buzz (Bangalore) Yusuf Arakkal - book launch

Galerie Sara Arakkal cordially invites you to join us to celebrate the Launch of Books in Kannada & Malayalam on YUSUF ARAKKAL, authored by P.Surendran, Dr. R.H. Kulkarni, Nalini Malaviya and P. Sudhakaran on 6th February 2011 at 11.30 am at our Gallery.

DR. CHANDRASEKARA KAMBAR, Eminent litterateur has kindly consented to release the books and felicitate the authors.

Venue: Galerie Sara Arakkal, 156, 4th main, BEML Layout. Off ITPL Road, Bangalore 560 066 Telephone: 080 41162622.

15 Jul 2010

Drawing essence of thought - The Power of Line

(By Nalini S Malaviya)
Noted artist Yusuf Arakkal presents an exhibition of drawings The Power of Line – a show curated by him that displays about 130 works. Reluctant to accept his role as a curator, Arakkal reveals that the show was conceptualized about a year ago, and although in the initial phases the plan was to include a few select artists, as time progressed the list grew from 50 artists to the present 75, who are now participating in it. The whole process was set in motion when he came across a few of his own drawings done many years ago. He then invited eminent and emerging artists from across the country to participate in this show dedicated exclusively to drawings.

NS Harsha
The exhibition endeavors to encapsulate the flow and evolution of drawing over time, regions and generations. “Most artists don’t like to work with a suggested theme; therefore the only brief that I gave them was in terms of size. They were free to give me any drawing from any phase of their career,” he explains.

A strong believer in the power of drawing as an independent medium, and superior to any form of visual art, Arakkal believes that it is the essence of thought, which is instantly translated through a line drawing. He feels, “A painting is an elaborate process, where the essentials get lost along the way and unwanted elements may creep in.”
Arakkal religiously practices the discipline of drawing every single day without fail even when he is traveling. He elaborates, “It took me some time to realize that the most important aspect of almost all visual applications is drawing. The basic structure of painting, sculpture, architecture, engineering and all that connected to visual expressions; is drawing.” He fondly recalls the days, when as a child he used to draw with pieces of charcoal behind the kitchen wall - most of those pictures were inevitably of cars! And, of the driver looming large over his territory!
Interestingly, an etching by Laxma Goud has been included to display the connect between graphics and drawing, as the artist is a well known graphic printmaker. The show is dedicated to FN Souza and KK Hebbar, both great artists of our times.
In his curatorial note Arakkal expresses, “While many of these creations are done as a guide to the final work, more often it is these drawings that in itself reincarnates as the final work of art. It is the power of those lines created in an inspirational moment which becomes the basis for the emergence of a great work in its final identity.” The results are there to see - the exhibition presents a wide spectrum of minimalist drawings, a few made with paint and brushes, and some even mixed media works. A few images here and there may strike a discordant note, but overall there is a cohesiveness that reiterates the curatorial intent.
(The exhibition continues at Galerie Sara Arakkal till July 31)

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

29 Oct 2009

Art on wheels

(By Nalini S Malaviya)
A car completely covered with copper trimmings and intricate designs is not a common sight. But, this is exactly what you see when you arrive at Sara Arakkal’s gallery in Whitefield. The gleaming copper reflects the afternoon sunlight, highlighting the elaborate patterns that have been so painstakingly worked upon the body of the car. Artist Yusuf Arakkal’s brainchild; he has spent the last five years in conceptualising, designing and converting his old Fiat car into a work of art. There is an interesting story behind this car. Arakkal reveals, “I got this car – a 1956 Fiat Millicento in 1986 in exchange of a couple of paintings and a sculpture from art collector Harish Padmanabha. It so happened that Harish came over to collect the paintings and we decided to have a drink to celebrate the occasion. On the way we stopped at the car workshop and the moment I saw this champagne-grey coloured car I just fell in love with it. I asked Harish if he wanted to sell it and he agreed. We settled for it and I drove back home in this car.”
Yusuf Arakkal with his artomobile
This was Arakkal’s first car in Bangalore and understandably, he has been very attached to it, and when it started to wear out, he was reluctant to part with it. Fortunately, the artist in him took over and he decided to convert it into a sculpture-cum-installation. As he wanted to retain the original classic shape of the car, he toyed with several ideas before deciding to use copper sheets to cover the car completely. Not an easy task as the final product had to be artistic as well as aesthetic.

According to Arakkal, almost a ton of copper has gone on the car in the process of altering it. A team of highly skilled craftsmen have worked on it for the last few years. A pattern inspired by wheels has been used on either side of the body of the car. Synonymous with the mobility of the vehicle and as a symbol of development and progress, the wheels are also inspired by a series of paintings Arakkal did in the 1970s. Special care has been taken to retain the patina of copper and several coats of sealant have been used to protect it from oxidation or weathering effects.

This converted vehicle - an artomobile is soon going to Delhi and will be showcased on the lawns of a new art gallery. Well, one thing is certain, this car is sure to catch your eye.

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)