( Cave painting of a Bison in Spain)




                                 “Art is to be seen, not talked about”, when Pablo Picasso, the most celebrated cubist artist, quoted art as a subject of understanding and not of explanation, he spoke for the art that might need the crutches of verbal description. Art, in particular, painting, is the record of civilization’s evolution on several social levels. If I can persuade you to take a brief look at the chronological art timeline and feast on the exuberance of various art movements that evolved through history, I will be delighted. But again, in some sense, I will be defying Picasso and his view about art’s perception. I am rather going to talk about art as a subject of subjectivity.
     
                           Art has always been there, from the painting in the Caves to the elucidations in Sistine Chapel to the pictures in newspapers and hoardings, it is an indispensable part of human society. Although what art holds in terms of significance has varied through its journey from Caves to computers. Initially when human civilizations started documenting experiences and when there was enough comprehension in people to understand the illustrations, art was tacitly owned by religion as a medium to depict the religious epics on a broader scale. It was in the most modest term considered as a property of the elite class. Only the affluent can own art pieces which were of any significance. Classic art which evolved from painting epics to painting the rich, made the owners flaunt it as a sign of owning great wealth and each painting commissioned was very specific to the mansion or palace that it was painted for. In a way, it was a record of the people who housed such affluent properties. Eventually, the reins of art slipped from the hands of privileged few and fell on the ground amidst the general public in terms of subject and the sitters and locations transformed from the elite class to the common people and their common, ordinary lifes. Realism was the art movement which captured the reality of the working class. From paintings of Dukes and Landlord and ambassadors in classic art, artists started to paint peasants, workers, and vagabonds. It was adeptly complimented by romanticism where there was a bit of drama on display alongside the common life day to day depictions. But this was the era when the walls of rigid and well-defined art were slowly cracking.
                            
                              Impressionism art movement emerged when the photographs came into existence and it was sort of a revolution against the dark colors and “plastic” pictures clicked by cameras. Impressionists took the responsibility of using bright colors to display the excellent effect of light in painting which the powerless lenses of cameras could not catch. The walls of rigid and agreeable art were broken when expressionism and surrealism came into the picture. When dreams became subjects and expressions and feelings were painted on Canvas in the form of strokes and waves and lines, the requirement of involvement of spectator or viewer increased exponentially. To the common eyes these works seem subversive and a bit childlike. Painters like Vincent Van Gogh and Edward Munch did not receive enough recognition in their lifetime but posthumous their work has been recognized as pure genius. When we moved a little further and were invariably flung into the cradle of modernism, we had cubism, abstract art, and abstract expressionism as the prominent art movements. Where cubism fragmented a picture into geometrical figures, abstract expressionism was in the pure sense to the common eyes mere splashes of paint on canvas. But if they were deeply observed and the viewer allowed himself to flow with those lines, he would embosom the warmth of the emotions that were etched on the canvas by the artist.
                                
                              If I were to quote an analogy for the evolution of art, I will choose to talk about the simple similarity it shares with the evolution of science, especially from classical to quantum mechanics. On one hand, we had classical mechanics that talked about laws of gravitation and motion whose effects were easily quantifiable by common eyes and hence the substantiality of comprehension was readily available. It was possible to show an apple drop and talk about the gravitational pull. The common eyes were not required to understand complex equation to agree with the fact that there is gravitation. But on the other hand when quantum mechanics emerged, we talked about energy and waves which were not easily understood or “shown” and the common minds found it a little mystical and flabbergasting. Equations were the base of acceptance and substantiality of this evolutionary science was comprehended by a very small section of the world. Abstract art is more or less like quantum mechanics, it seems mystical and there needs a greater involvement from the viewer’s side in comparison to the usual looking at the classical art. This problem exists with poetry too. For a long time, poetry had a specific structure and there were meters to decide its applicability and importance. But most importantly, rhyming was an indispensable part of poetry. But now we have contemporary work that has embosomed blank verses where rhyming has fallen out of poetry’s canvas. Rhyming has become intrinsic and it could be blatantly found in the thoughts but not in words.  
    
                               Art without definite structures and poetry without rhyming is alarming to many. We have a tendency to reject them as pieces of art in the first place. But these contemporary art forms are more open to emotional interpretations than the classical art were ever. It is the allowing of the viewer to feel his melancholy, his joy, his delusions in those undefined stripes and sprinkles and splashes is what makes abstract art so pivotal. But it is the same allowing that renders it rather mystical and unrelatable by general public. And so it is often accused of being ridiculous and irrelevant because we, the common heads, do not like to invest a lot of ourselves into something that demands pushing our boundaries of general and obvious. We always have the tendency to look for defined and ready-made explanation without much requirement of deductive thinking. Pieces of art which seem achievable by the untalented too are often deemed low in contrary to the ones that have such finish of brushes which seems like a demi-god’s work. We are, on a broader scale, influenced by complex structures and consider only defined complex artwork as actual work of art.
       
                                       Indian artists like Tayeb Mehta and Francis Newton Souza painted in the simplest shapes and most subversive lines. Their work had a serious impact on the society that we freely breathe in. Symbolism which the modern art speaks of with great pride, aboded their canvases. Souza’s dedication to allow the sensual, oppressive, grotesque to creep up his canvas instigated the acceptability of the Ugly and “tabooed”. His work might seem childlike to few but it is impossible to achieve the effect it had. As a common error we have a humongous tendency to confuse the simple from the ordinary. Simple seems achievable but has an effect that is ungauged and undeniable but ordinary is only achievable. It does not have the effect simple can ever have.
           
                                    So the modern art, as criticized and as debated as it may be, is only an object of seeing and exploration of the inner self. It is not to be talked about or quantified in terms of structures and definitions because making sense amidst the chaos of colors is commendable, no matter what.



                                      


( The fall of man by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Classic art)


   
      ( The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet, Realism)


    ( Wanderer above the sea of fog by Caspar David Friedrich, Romanticism)


   (Woman with a parasol by Claude Monet, Impressionism)


   ( Stary Nights by Vincent Van Gogh, Expressionism)


   (The scream by Edward Munch, Expressionism)


( The persistence of memory by Salvador Dali, Surrealism)


   ( Guernica by Pablo Picasso, Cubism)


 
  ( Picasso vs Souza)


  ( Pop art by Andy Warhol) 


    ( The Six, Abstract Expressionism)


 
   ( Abstract Expressionism)



 ( Francis Newton Souza)


 
   ( Francis Newton Souza)





 
   ( Falling bull by Tayeb Mehta)



( Mahisasura by Tayeb Mehta)


 ( Doodle art)




Pic source: Google

                            The sheer idea of criticism runs a chill across the spine. There are few who keep an open door to criticism. Ofcourse the bitter taste of the words demeaning your work are not a treat of gluttony and you are destined to run on to the sick bed of melancholy after the stings of criticism have stung you hard. Who likes to be hit by a hammer in the face after a laborious and exhausting attempt at creating something, specifically in the field of art? Where on one side it comes as real obvious to repel the comments of the critics, on the other side there is a hidden medicine in the bitter words of criticism that we tend to ignore and label people as haters. Considering Art of any form which can range unfathomably from painting to writing to dancing to singing to origami to anything and everything, I am bound to lease out the conspicuous importance of criticism in the making of a legend or a maestro.
           Basically, in personal opinion, I strongly believe that an artist has three phases of development at large. The first phase is, of course, the “phase of discovery”, where the future artist has just discovered his art and found a newborn passion. At this stage, he is similar to a diamond hidden inside a coal. Pure pitch dark coal seeming ugly and unromantic to the eyes of the talented. If the cruel swords-of-criticism be brought out here and lashed upon brutally onto this coal, it is going to roll back into the mine and stay there obscure, undiscovered and denied of the little chance of harvesting confidence. This is the phase where the critic or the person the artist looks up to for a review, must be Hippocratic. He must blanket his errors and try to instill confidence by motivation. Allow the artist to believe that there can be a diamond inside him. It is highly possible that there would be no diamond at all and it becomes analogous to “Schrodinger’s Cat scenario of What if I critique too harsh and the artist in him dies and what if I allow him to jump off the cliff of creativity but not tell him that he does not have the wings”. Here we must employ “Selective criticism” and be as lenient as possible. We, along with him, must take a leap of faith. Initial praise will keep him moving.
        When the coal slowly moves to the second stage where a bit of the diamond’s skin shows off, the critic can employ enough harsh criticism to burst few of his bubbles. As an artist, one is bound to believe that every piece he creates is a masterpiece and endorses strong emotions and pride with each one of them. In the second stage, when the crude crystal is showing off, bring the artist out of the “fairyland of all things great” and acquaint him with the reality and talent around. Give him a reality check and show his standards with regard to the work available in the field. But there is fine point one must remember. Although the artist has invested enough confidence in his work, he still does not have an invincible faith in his work and he still can roll back into the mine. So the critic must ensure that on one side where he acquaints him with the reality, on the other side he must keep him motivated and tell him what it took for the maestros to get where they got. This is the second phase.
     When all you have is a crystal in the crude form and no piece of coal is canopying the crude diamond, bring out your “Samurai swords of criticism” and shape him and polish him to the best. Then and only then can a Pretending-Artist become an “Artist” in the true sense. The need of criticism in bringing the best of anybody is undeniably quintessential but the phases of criticism must work parallel to the phases of the artist’s development. Where hypocrisy can be employed in the initial stages, it is important that one holds on to giving brutally honest review later on. Honest criticism will lay the foundation of excellence and it is something that an artist stays indebted for life.
        
P.S. I am really grateful to each one of you who helped me through the phases and have stayed honest and loyal to my craft. Whatever I am capable of today in terms of writing, I humbly credit it to the constructive criticism that I received. Thank you and I hope you guys will keep along for many years to come.  



                 "To be or not to be, that is the question!" And this question is fairly old. It has haunted civilizations, let alone people in specific. The excellence of this question is in the simplicity and innocence of its terms. Whether to be or not to be, like a little child wondering whether to give the broken toy to a friend or not to give but here it is only extended to the sphere of life and death. Although this soliloquy of Shakespeare firmly deals with the issue of existence, it can, in modern times be extended to common issues of coming of the age that is Identity crises as well. The phrase Identity Crisis is in vogue. It sounds like a first world country problem while the third world countries have to still deal with issues of poverty, hunger, unemployment, ill health, illiteracy, social and political imbalance and the likes. But if you stop looking at the forest in general and care to scoot into it, you will surely find one tree which would stand for the issue of “Identity crisis” and breathing the words, “to be or not to be, that is the question” which the master of Romeo Juliet and King Lear has so brilliantly asked in Hamlet. As such it is a herculean task to deal with the “Forest” in general but if I may, I would like to shift your attention to that tree which stand for the issues of Hamlet; Personality Crisis and the freedom to be self, in the context of this discussion. Well it cannot be denied that we are all a part of a society and unless we desire to have salvation in solitude and live the life of Henry David Thoreau, we cannot absolutely amplitude ourselves from the decorum of the civilization. Our actions and thoughts will generate ripples in the little pond we live, so it won’t be wrong for the fellow humans to ask you to tailor your ripples to the norms of the pond so that your wavelength does not morally or psychologically damp somebody else’s wavelength. Often you will be asked to wear the skin of the herd. As liberal and as utopian the Roman civilization was, even it had practiced the course of “selective adaptation” where the lesser minds were killed so that the future generation will not be adulterated with less intelligence. Now the lesser minds would have asked the same question, “To be or not to be”, had Shakespeare been born before their time. So fitting people in has been the base of civilization since the beginning and it is morally right too. But when you ask few “subversives” to do so, there comes a little whisper from the corners of their minds asking, “What about individuality? What about the personality I hold? Who am I, if I separate from this herd?” in the process of fitting in are we chopping off the wings we have, or getting rid of the flamboyant hump or even trying to break the fins and walk the Sahara dunes just because the herd I think I belong to has such norms and hooves. Where it is moral for an individual to fit in, is it not a moral obligation of the society to understand his uniqueness and accept him as he is? Where else can we be ourselves? In solitude? Where can we tell our herd that we can fly, or go days long without water or even swim oceans? This world is accelerating towards poker status quo  and with such obligations of “fit in”, we are only encouraging more fakeness and killing originality and individuality and this will push each of us to the very question that has echoed timelessly in the valleys of civilization; “To be or not to be, that is the question.”            




Let the winds from the moon,
Whisper in your ears,
The odes of travelers,
Let the sky drizzle stars,
And lakes be filled with lights,
In which you bathe anew ,
Let your brush on canvas,
Unravel a new story,
That which be told for ages,
Let the incense from clouds,
Descend as petrichor,
And Waft with you to the hills,
Let your voice strike a cord,
And music flow through ,
the veins of the leaves,
Let a cold summer breeze,
Dangle your beach cut hair,
Let your dreams take you there,
Where galaxies finally meet ,
All the lost dreamers,
Let the night sky turn darker,
And the oceans bluer,
Let the cities get calmer,
And you lose yourself forever,
Let your lips smile at the world,
With your eyes speaking your heart,
Let you travel the time and space,
And be the wanderlust ,
who has a summer dream.
BATMAN VS SUPERMAN!!! dark knight and the kryptonian -batman vs superman: fantasy, poem, superheroes, batman, superman, wonderwoman, justice league, BATMAN VS SUPERMAN





Like the dew of the early dawn,
Slipping from the petals of orchid,
Your thoughts slip over my psyche,
Enchanting,
Bewitching and slowly,
I drown in it,
Helpless I am,
And when I hear the breeze,
Rising from your meadows,
It sings ode of your persona,
Of which I wish to be a stanza,
The one with relentless rhyme,
For when you sing your life,
Your lips must hum my name,
And when I write my life,
My pen must ink your reign,
Dear friend,
What are you?
If you are not an addiction.


Wake up from this salubrious sleep,
End this enchanting devil’s dance,
For you know the time shan’t return,
To give them another chance,
Bewitch the forlorn and afraid,
Arouse the valor with wizardry glance,
Take the poison rubbed arrows,
Foster the calm archer’s stance,
Another night, while the dragon sleeps,
Unsheathe the sword, sharp the lance,
When the ogres merry the night,
Slaughter the werewolves disguised as lambs,
Let the uproar of their deaths echo,
Along with your wizardry charms,
And then it will be time to go,
To again end an enchanting dance,
In the black mystic woods I think,
Miles away from your magical France.    




I see men come and men go,
Like the wind on meadows that flow,
I hear them whisper deep desires,
Like the arrows that the mind fires,
I see them chase the city glitters,
To finally fall like the tree that withers,
I feel their agony behind the smiles,
Which sparks a heart-fire from miles,
I see them curse the dawning sun,
And not see the amber melt in the sapphire ocean,
I see them walk like a lifeless herd,
All clamoring but none to be heard,
I see them whimper silent weep,
And the endless grey in their eyes deep,
I see them fall by a breeze of pain,
Drowning in its endless daunting rain,
I see them and when I finally see me,
I see a great desire to be free,
But when I ask, for what good of life
Have you homed the dead willow tree?
 Quiet and masked in the vicious worldly glow,
They leave me to see hapless men come and go.

(This poem was to celebrate World Book Day on 23-April. Thanks for reading)



Pointy edge of the charcoal beast,
Scribbling on the dead white papers,
Swaying,
With his dexterous mind,
Brisk in its flamboyant flavors,
The echoes of the corporal voices,
Preaching mundane lesson,
Urging him to stay chained,
In their vicious, bounded garrison,
But he chooses to sneak away,
To the farfetched world, beyond their vision,
Unheeded,
For he is “The Artist”,
Novice,
Free like the ravens over Himalayas,
Zillion thoughts sparking his mind,
Like the luminous thunders at dark nights,
Rebellious,
Dreamer,
What can he be more?
The celebrated creative learner.

( This post is dedicated to a friend of creative wit, Jaswanth)  






So what are you here for?
The Kryptonian asked,
While he pulled his red drape near,
In the aisle of medical hall,
Backache! The Dark Knight uttered,
Slipping a prescription on the pharmacist desk,
he muttered,
You are so powerful with the Kryptonian muscle,
Enough to defeat Lex Luther in a simple wrestle,
Then what has put you in such a hassle?
(Batman smirks)

Heat!
The scorching sun has given me burns,
When I fly, my Kryptonian skin churns,
My freeze breath does not cool me anymore,
Wonder-Woman admitted me here for the right cure,

(Few seconds of awkward silence
 and then…)

I know your work out is wide spoken,
How could this disease have you taken?
(Superman grinned)

Constant traffic and the narrow Gotham aisle,
I had a spine ache driving the bat mobile,
The doctor says I must resort to rest,
And call Joker to forgo crime,
At the doctor’s behest,

Alright!!
.....................
And they shook hands for all time sakes,
Walked away with their slithering capes…
 .......................

(Meanwhile, 384,400 km away at watch-Tower......)
Where are they, the two helpless freak?
Cried in unison, the hall of Justice League!!!!






For the long lost deity in the pages,
Of the epic so told,
Ramayan,
Tested at the behest of faith,
Who were they?
Kings?
Blind and deaf?
To have the lady undressed in the court,
The pride of Panadavas,
Draupadi,
Praying for help,
Placed at peril by the cruel,
Man?
Yes, the deemed creator!
And the Helen had wept alone,
When the troy turned into ashes,
She still does for the historian masses,
Credit her the apocalypse,
Prejudiced,
Aren’t they?
Hundred years ahead,
From the ages of suppressed women,
We still look at the horizon,
For the equality, to sweep in,
Don’t we?




                                                     


The least judged,
broken, 
mended,
drenched in desire to be heard,
screams, 
whispers,
unshaken,
dreamer,
ocean dweller, 
a sailor,
an ink blot,
on my psyche's paper,
rustling in the storm,
not torn,
nor crumpled,
like a child's innocence,
what is he?
a writer?
a dreamer?
a thinker?
or may be 

just a voice!!