Art gets a smart( phone) can­vas

Com­pris­ing por­traits and ab­stracts, debu­tant artist Dilip De’s ex­hi­bi­tion gives a new twist to dig­i­tal art by us­ing the mo­bile phone as a can­vas. Amy Fer­nan­des takes a look

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Amy. fer­nan­des@ dnain­dia. net, @ dna

Art is om­nipresent,” says freshly anointed artist Dilip De, whose ex­hi­bi­tion Cel­e­bra­tion of Love at the Je­hangir Art Gallery opened with 24 pieces of art in a new for­mat. That art is om­nipresent is not new to De, an avid and as­tute col­lec­tor him­self. What is new is the dis­cov­ery, in fact sev­eral dis­cov­er­ies, that a) there is an artist in most of us, if we have the pa­tience to coax him ( or her) out, and b) artists do not have to be in a stu­dio with a large can­vas and paint ly­ing askew. In De’ x case, the can­vas is a minia­ture 4x5cm on his Sam­sung Galaxy Note.

Peo­ple gen­er­ally have eureka mo­ments when they stum­ble onto some­thing big. De had none of these. His art be­gan at his farm­house in Alibaug where an­thurium and or­chids bloom and where, in a re­laxed state, he be­gan “doo­dling” or­chids in the hope of send­ing it to his wife Shob­haa. Alas, it dis­ap­peared. Tech­nol­ogy, not be­ing one of his strong suits yet, had al­ready sin­gled him out for boot camp. So he at- tempted an­other bloom and un­like the 45 other art­works that had van­ished, he learnt as­sid­u­ously to save and send.

Shob­haa would have been the sole re­cip­i­ent of all of these pieces had fate not scripted a set of serendip­i­tous stages that led him to ex­hibit his works. A friend who saw them in­sisted these be blown into prints. But at a point Dadiba Pun­dole stepped in and helped choose 24 pieces that could turn into prints. Dilip Ranade, ( for­mer mu­seum cu­ra­tor and artist) who saw these said he would put words to the art. An ex­hi­bi­tion seemed to be shap­ing up.

There was still the ques­tion of where to show. Nat­u­rally, it would have to be Je­hangir Art Gallery. But that has a six- year wait­ing pe­riod. Luck­ily, some­one had backed out. De was in. It doesn’t stop there. At din­ner with a friend, he men­tioned he was work­ing on this ex­hi­bi­tion of dig­i­tal art cre­ated on his Sam­sung phone. “What do you in­tend do­ing about it?’’ the friend asked. “Putting it up of course,”’ he said.

“How can you be so fool­ish,’’ said the friend, ‘’ does Sam­sung know about this?’’ “No.” Then came the trump card. “I know some­one there who we should show the work to.” Nat­u­rally, Sam­sung In­dia was de­lighted with the im­ages. Ac­knowl­edg­ing it hadn’t en­coun­tered an ex­hi­bi­tion or art cre­ated on the Sam­sung Galaxy Note Se­ries, it pro­ceeded to part­ner him in show­cas­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion. And that is how Dilip De got his mojo. At the packed open­ing, which threat­ened to turn into a stam­pede ow­ing to Amitabh Bachchan’s pres­ence, the 24 pieces hung proudly. “I am not some great artist, but I am happy at how things have turned out. I would like art to be af­ford­able.” And why Cel­e­bra­tion of Love? One is not quite sure where the love sto­ries spring in when you see the pic­tures. The lit­er­a­ture ex­plains it though: Dilip De’s works com­prise por­traits of men and women de­pict­ing var­i­ous moods and sit­u­a­tions. There are a few ab­stracts also which show kin­ship with land­scape. The por­trait­sport cover a range of char­ac­ters and ex­pres­sions,expr from melan­cholic and pen­sive to the more enig­matic and amorous. Though the de­sired char­ac­ters and sit­u­a­tions are en­vis­aged by the artist, in the process of im­pro­vi­sa­tion, the re­sults are of­ten amus­ing moods and ex­pres­sions. Ren­der­ings of the head in colourc and form are not nat­u­ral­is­tic butb are in­tended to com­ple­ment vis­ual im­ The faces are de­lin­eated with jaggedja and ner­vous lines which heighten feel­ings of un­rest, whereas some of th the heads with pro­trud­ing chins are dr drawn in fine lines al­lud­ing to a mask. “Like art, love sto­ries abound,” he says.say You only have to look for it and cel­e­bra­teeb it.” As he does on his minia­ture can­vas.can ( To­day is the last day of view­ing Cel­e­bra­tion of Love at Je­hangir Art Gallery)

Dilip De poses with his mo­bile phone art­works ti­tled Mum­bai Sky Sym­phony, ( above) art­works Vor­tex and Sona

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