Stroll around San Jose

On the first-day stroll around the city, you would notice that San Jose is a city of beautiful old Spanish architecture. From the majestic Bank of Italy building to the 18th century cathedral of St. Joseph. From the Sainte Claire hotel building to the art museum. The architecture is captivating. Then there are large and beautiful urban murals in the parking lots and smaller art projects in every corner of the city.

And the city is home to the homeless. On a lazy Sunday morning, you would see people packing their bags from their ‘spots’, and there is poop and pee and broken glass pieces of beer bottles on the sidewalks. In to the evening, you would see the homeless getting into a brawl with the security folks of the buildings, as they try to find a spot and settle in for the night.

On the first-day stroll around downtown San Jose, I found it quite amusing, with curiosity and a bit of fear, of the unknown and unfamiliar.

San Jose City Murals:

Just Sharing – 6

Art work by Andre Kohn
(Shared by Aashik Salahudheen in Google+)

Andre Kohn is a Russian artist based in America. Viewing his work is like watching real life frames through a glass window that has just been sprayed by the rain outside. Learn more about him in his website or check out a few of his works here.


Most beloved and creative street art
(Shared by Ranjit in Google+)

Check out more such cool creative street art in this page.


Smart thief caught on cam
(Shared by Kumar NM in Google+)

This is one of ‘the best’ ads I have seen recently. Go check it out yourself! 🙂

Picasso @ the Lapin Agile

What would’ve happened if a young Picasso and a young Einstein had accidentally met at a bar in Paris? Which of the two would have won, Art or Science? Come to Alliance Francaise de Bangalore to find for yourself.

Tahatto presents Steve Martin’s play, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile“.

May 7th (Friday) – 8 pm
May 8th (Saturday) – 4 pm AND 7:30 pm
Ticket price: Rs.150/-

For tickets, call 98800 36611 or visit IndianStage. You can also pick up tickets from Landmark in Forum.

Open letter to M F Husain

Dear Mr. Husain

I have great respect to artists. Especially to those like you who have set your own mark in the field of art, though I don’t understand (and can’t appreciate) certain forms of art due to the lack of my knowledge in the field of art. But as far as the freedom of expression goes, I am fully with you Sir. That nobody holds the right to tell an artist how he/she should express through their art. And an artist need not consider what his/her audience asks what to do with their artistic medium because that will kill the sole purpose of his/her work. Art is born when an artiste feels that he/she cannot live without doing it.

But you should also consider, Mr. Husain, that people are free to protest. Peacefully, yes. They can file complaints in the court and as long as the laws of the country see it fit, the court can ask you to be present and give an explanation by the law. No sir, I am not supporting the Sangh Family here. Those goons will have this or any other reason just to flare up the communal sentiments and get people into the street to get them killed. On one hand they proclaim they are a civilized society unlike the Fatwa issuing communities and on the other they issue their own Fatwas – like offering Rs. 51 crores to behead you, 1 KG of Gold to gouge your eyes and 20000 Euros to chop off your hands. But except for their blind and foolish supporters, nobody has thought a bit highly of them, so let us leave it at that.

Now coming to the matter at hand, shouldn’t you accept the end results of your work with the same courage that you took to do your creative work? Shouldn’t you face the court, like many brave souls did, to stand tall and firm for the artistic cause you had? Have you ever thought of what kind of an impression it leaves upon the supporters of freedom of expression when you go hiding in another country and fly around in your Ferrarri while you put all the blame on your old homeland? I do understand, that any man can get afraid of getting caged at this age, after having been revered as one of the great artists of our time. So if you just simply said that you don’t prefer to live in India fearing the court case, that would make more sense. But by putting blame on India, that it did not protect you or there were not enough sane and supportive voices, you are insulting the sensitivity of the majority of the people here in India, who have always supported the freedom of expression, unlike a few goons from the saffron brigade.

Were you running away fearing for your life? But even then, what makes you think you are more secure in Qatar? Fundamentalists are everywhere and if you are running away from them, you will have to run away from the whole world. So what is the kind of example that you are setting here?

You say a painter is a world citizen. But why just the painter, Sir? We are all citizens of this world, not just you. We all know that countries, states and borders are all illusions drawn by some people to stay firm to powerful places, but it is our convenience and sentiments that makes us stay where we are. Why don’t you just accept and admit that simple fact?

PS: I am also curious as to why you mentioned you had a friend, who was a “Brahmin”. What and how does that matter in proving your tolerance to religions?

Related post: I am an Indian

Verry India!


Vikram Nandwani is an amazing caricaturist. He is also the driving force behind “Save the Tiger” initiative. He did caricatures of people to pool in the funds for this and thus brought art to make a change. If you look at the top of this blog or my Twitter profile pic, my caricature there was done by Vikram. You might have seen his political cartoons blog at point blank, and now he has started a caricature series called “Verry India“. In his own words, “Verry India is a caricature series on daily life in India by Vikram Nandwani. It is an attempt to capture fast disappearing rustic images of the country that is urbanizing rapidly.Check it out.

The Rain Orchestra

I love experimental art. For they dare to do something new, fresh and original. Here is one, called The Rain Orchestra and it’s a group of people making the sound of rain with their hands and feet. The raining begins with small drops of water, then it comes heavy with thunder etc and then finally sets off. I would recommend that you just close your eyes and listen to it first and then watch the visual. I don’t know who orchestrated it and where did this happen, so if any of you get any more info on this, please pass on.

By the way, don’t forget to put your headphones on! 🙂

(Thanks to Arun for the link)

Mohan’s Art Work

There was pulp-fiction (most popularly known as “painkiLi kathhakaL” in Malayalam) and the “Ma” weeklys which were reigning over the entertainment space of Malayali community before the television sets and the soap serials took them over. The “Ma” weeklys (Malayala Manorama, Mangalam, Manorajyam etc) with their never-ending stories which are equivalent to the television soaps of these days, were the main source of entertainment for the womenfolk as they were confined to the four walls of their household. The men too have enjoyed these weeklys, mainly for the sleazy gossip stories or for the graphical art works of women with the novellas.

But for men, the most favorite column in these weeklys were/are the “Ask the Doctor” column. This column would mostly have letters with questions about sexual problems. Each letter is a porn story in itself which could feed your fetish well. Rumor has it that many of these letters are written by the publishing house people themselves to increase circulation.

So the “Ma” weeklys are satisfying for both genders – Soaps for women and soft porn for men. But there is another thing that is so attractive about the “Ma” weeklys. It is the art work that comes in between the paragraphs of a novel. Many of these artists who work for these weeklys are so talented, but they go mostly unnoticed because of the nature of their work. They do not draw ordinary people. They draw only so perfectly beautiful people; women, to be specific.

I recently saw some of such art works by Mr. Mohan who works for Malayala Manorama. He is an amazingly talented artist. I don’t have more details of him and don’t know if he is pursuing an artistic career outside his regular job at Malayala Manorama, but he is a very good artist.

PS: The copyright of the images given below remains with Malayala Manorama. I should leave proper credits for them, even though they make false claims such as “Manorama Podcast is the first podcast in Malayalam” etc and would never correct it (Deshabhimani is far better in this case, I believe. At least they apologized for their recent goof-up). 🙂