Saturday, December 21, 2013

Raja Ravi Varma OleoGraph or Oleo LithoGraph Print

Raja Ravi Varma 1848-1906

What is Oleograph?
As per dictionary Oleograph is also known by ChromoLithoGraph meaning; Color Lithograph produced laboriously by preparing a separate Stone by hand for each single color to be used and printing one color registering over another color. This is so exhaustive that sometimes as many as 30-40 stones were used to get a single finished print.

Original Litho surface

Why were they called as German Prints?
The technique of lithographic printing was one of the greatest German inventions. This revolutionized mass production in Germany, Europe and had a major impact to the movement of Independence in India during 19th until the beginning of 20th century. 
Before the entry of this, it was cumbersome and tedious process of hand copying or on woodcuts. 
The lure of German lithographs/oleographs depicting Indian subjects was so great that some entrepreneurs imported machinery and also technicians to produce on a mass scale, labelling it as 'Printed in Germany'.

Printing Press imported from Germany
Raja Ravi Varma was one of the most famous of them and set up Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press at Bombay in 1894 unable to cater to the increasing demand of commissioning of his paintings. This was also known as The FAL Press managed by Raja Ravi Varma and his brother Raja Raja Varma.  Financially it was an utter flop and he had to partner initially with the German technician, Fritz Schleicher and employed technician P. Gerhardt to run his press after shifting it to Lonavala.  The Karla, Lonavala Press was later renamed to Malavli Press and was in production until 1980s and got engulfed in the fires. Finally it was sold to Fritz Schleicher. Now in recent times, Schleichers grandson Robert Sandu disposed off the complete treasures to the conservator Vijaynath Shenoy, who will make an archival museum at Manipal Heritage Village.

Litho slab

Final Print

The irony of - "it can happen only in India" is explained by an experts
"I know there are trusts in both Germany and Italy that have been working towards the creation of a Ravi Varma Museum. I cannot, however, believe that the Government of India or the Governments of Maharashtra or Kerala (the two states he was connected to, the first by birth and the other by choosing to live there) have not created museums in his memory or restored his collection of art work," says German Art Historian Peter Bertram, a scholar who was involved with research on the artist's works. 

Artists Signature is etched on the Litho - Batch number on left with Printing Press on the right

You may be wondering how to differentiate an original oleograph print - for detailed information you may visit Golden Tips
Few prints in excellent condition are available for sale at Abode of Creativity - Online Gallery for Contemporary Indian Art


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Decade of ChitraSanthe at CKP

The crowd at this years Chitra Santhe, 10th year running wild...

The excitement of ChitraSanthe overwhelms our Bangalore crowd to watch different varieties of artworks on a single stretch of road from Shivananda Circle to Windsor Manor bridge.

This year emphasis was given to the size I feel, to get more sanctions from the government.

Management is trying all possible means to keep the artists away and encourage people to showcase crafts, artificial flowers, sarees, etc.,

The day is not far when inner-wear will be sold in the exhibition halls.

Ah ha....sarees did i mention, well there are here to be passed off as artworks.

Each year event curators select and display paintings from established artists, upcoming artists and also graduating students work to showcase in the halls for 3 days.

I found one painting which was total rip-off of Tyeb Mehta which was proudly displayed and will be visited by lakhs of educated folks.

In the chitrasante entry form, it is clearly mentioned that crafts, prints, and other displays are not to be sold and all displayed artworks should be by a single artist. But lo, I found this lady selling calendars and photographs framed for sale, she even objected me photographing her stall so i had to take a long shot....

Saw some beautiful executed artworks with color ball pens by an artist from Belgaum.

One of the fiber glass sculpture which was life size found on the crescent road

An NGO put up some artworks of established artists for sale which were donated for charity.

This artist was found painting with coffee powder mixed with water.

In the midst of these santhe atmosphere, there is one small family who is unmoved by the happenings at the Chitrakala campus, they have come for a picnic on a Sunday and do not wish to be disturbed. What say?

This traveller from Kuravpur seems to have come only to display a set of 4 paintings drawn and painted with watercolor of the avatars of Dattatreya.  He did not wish to sell them for a price when asked. You can see notice the glowing smile.

Jai Guru Datta - Shri Guru Datta

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back 2 CKP - 9th Chitra Santhe

Every year, the last Sunday of January is a much-awaited event for the art enthusiasts to buy artworks from the (Chitra Santhe)Art Bazaar. 

College Gate Decked & Screaming ~"Back 2 CKP" Chitra Santhe

Majority of the stalls depicted the same 'unsold artworks' 'same artists; however a few artists had managed to reserve the same spot, I suppose, by lobbying?

Outside Sindhi School, 2 artworks stood out 4 attention, which were pop-up kind of 3D layering used widely in the advertisement posters, which are liked these days and also pushed in the name of 'new media works', artist was from Chennai.

Pop-up Artwork: the man on the face is floating in a 3D illusion

An artist keeps needs to keep himself/herself busy irrespective of space or time since time and skill are the only resources they possess in abundance in this current recession scenario. 

Soap Carving artist

I noticed few greetings cards with highly intricate workmanship displayed; each one was unique in style, material, & skill-set but when asked for price she said ~"not for sale".  She is a native from Coorg(Kodagu) having just completed her XII from St Aloysius College, Mangalore and wants to pursue NID next.  

Mesmerizing "Not 4 Sale" artworks by Donna Partha 

On-the-spot portrait sketching counters were very popular among the masses. They could carry their personal images as a momento to their homes for just Rs 100/- in B&W and Rs 250/- for color.

On-the-spot Portrait sketching

Instructions and Rules to Participants
  • Artists above the age of 18 years are eligible.
  • The application forms should reach Karnataka Chitra Kala Parishath , “Art Complex”
    Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore – 560001 on or before 1st January 2012.
  • One day Lodging (Dormitory) and Boarding will be provided by the organizers for outstation participants on prior request.
  • Please note and observe the timings of the event 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
  • The right to reject the application rests with the Parishath.
  • We do not take any responsibility for any type of damage or loss to the exhibits during Chitra Santhe.
  • No storage facilities will be provided.
  • No exhibits of Reproductions, Digital Prints, Photographs and Craft/Handicrafts will be allowed.
  • Each stall is allotted exclusively to an artist and subletting is not allowed.
  • Certificates are issued only to the registered participants.
  • No Participant is allowed to deal with works of others.
  • Only Artworks approved by the Scrutiny panel should be exhibited.
  • If material other than artworks are displayed, CKP will have the right to cancel the allotted stall immediately.

    Some prominent Reproduction Displays of popular artists

    I was shocked, not to see a single work by the artists manning the stall other than reproductions of Bratin Khan, Suhas Roy, Sunil Das, Ajay De

    Any takers for these?
    The artists are in a relaxed ambience without a hint of guilt 

    Flaunting of works similar to the style of Prokash Karmakar in abundance

    Reproductions of Prokash Karmakar from Kolkata

Among the south, Chennai artists have adopted to reproduce senior artists and have fared badly in quality.
Reproductions of Raman G from Chennai by Sugumar C

Points to Ponder? Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath has become a favorite hub among the elite ladies after the regimen of Nanjund Rao & Chowtha, since the number of exhibition catering to Silk Sarees, Garments, Artificial Flowers, Antiquities & Curios are given more prominence than Art shows.  Artists are rebuked. asked to compromise on halls, timings, and I personally have seen Chief Administrator, Rudrappa addressing artists arrogantly and canceling prebooked dates of exhibition giving priority to ongoing Saree mela.

The following image Fashion articles sold right in front of Hotel Lalit Ashok, despite repeated blaring on the mikes not to sell things unrelated to art! ...

Fashion stuffs?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stories Found on Wooden Temple Chariots

South Indian Temple boasts of having one or more carved chariots, either in wood or silver to take the deity during annual festivals on to the streets among the famous temples. 

Silver Chariot - V.V.Puram, Bangalore

Carvings of musicians, sages and animals from mythology were chosen for display

Dasavatara and Astalakshmi were widely used among few chariots 

Each chariot convey a different story to the viewers 

Carving of Parrot with human body from puranas

There are intricate carvings on them of gods and goddess  and sometimes of animals.

On a visit to Dharmastala last week, I saw among the exhibits one wooden chariot with exemplary carvings of Kamasutra on them and was dumfounded. Hope you will all enjoy them!

Erotic postures 

Intricate carvings

Complicated Group acts

Erotic postures

Erotic postures

Erotic postures 

Practice of oral sex acts 

Sex with multiple partners

Descriptive lessons involved in group sex

Logs of wood are of different thickness

Highly skilled craftsman have worked on these sculptures 

Different themes on different layers were formed 

Full nude damsels 

Musicians and positions of various Kamasutra 

Yaksha's  were also frequently used along with the deities