The 8th edition of the monthly event titled ‘Underground Talks with Manish Pushkale’ hosted by the renowned artist Manish Pushkale despite the weather constraints was held on July 27th, 2019 at GAG Moderne Art Gallery in New Delhi. The event was graced by the powerful presence of eminent artist, painter and theatre actor, Manu Parekh whose paintings and work of arts not only command attention but also critical appreciation. Manu Parekh has been accoladed with the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri and is also the recipient of Lalit Kala Akademi Award.
The spirited host welcomed the guest to engage in a lively session by iterating the need of one to one conversation in the era of forced information where social media has become the new and fashionable trend to commune. Speaking about the name of the ‘Underground Talks’, Mr. Pushkale highlighted the evident oxymoron as unlike the talk being held in the basement last year that justified the name, now the monthly event hosted on the last Saturday of every month has shifted to the roof-top. Definitely, name doesn’t matter when art and artistic conversation is there to grasp the audience mind.
The eighth series of the “Underground Talks” coincided with the 92nd birth anniversary of Krishna Baldev Vaid, a well-known Hindi fiction writer and playwright whose writing challenges the structural framework because of his experimental and iconoclastic narrative styles. Mr. Pushkale started the conversation by reading out some classic extracts from his book, “Bimal Urf Jayen to Jayen Kahan” and dedicated the evening talk to him.
The “Underground Talks” fulfilled its vision of bringing artists from different fields under the same roof and engaging them to contribute towards burning the flambeau of creative spirit and instigate the same in the society at large. Mr. Pushkale navigated the audience to the starts and struggles of Manu Parekh by asking him about the beginning of his artistic carrier, to which the guest of honour vehemently took a ride back to his memory lane to Ahmedabad and how he struggled to realise his worth of becoming an artist and not gluing to his earlier thought carrier prospect of becoming a drawing teacher.
Manu Parekh while talking about his journey extended his respect to several people who became instrumental in establishing him as an artist starting from his drawing teacher to his friend who helped him financially to complete his art education at Sir J. J. School of Art and the artists who influenced him personally like Rabindranath Tagore. The conversation with Mr. Manu brought out his personal aspect to the forefront that more or less established him to be totally engrossed in his paintings and his works.
Mr. Pushkale well aware of the importance of Sir J. J. School of Art in the life of artist especially painters, took the conversation on a personal note discussing with Manu Parekh about the faculty then and Mr. Parekh’s relationship with his batchmates, juniors and seniors who now have established a name for themselves like Jatin Das; a Padma Bhushan recipient himself and a well-established name in the art arena.
Mr. Manu speaking of the craft said that along with carrying a sense of optics, training and learning the craft is quite important. When asked by Mr. Pushkale of his engagement with Banaras to be “Banaras, or Varanasi or Kashi”, Mr Parekh too politely dismissed any political or spiritual concern with his totally artistic engagement with the city. He explained his “Banaras” to be a raw space that fuelled his creative spirit with its celebratory aspect. Mr Parekh told the audience that not spirituality but the festivity and celebratory element in and around the temple or other religious domain interested him much that got translated into his works- “Banaras- Eternity Watches Time”, “Banaras”, “Ritual oblations”, etc.
Manu Parekh said that space and connectivity with space is very important to him and that defines his relationship with both Banaras and Kolkata. Mr Parekh talked about his engagement and interest in folk arts and rural landscape. During the talk he mentioned of the famous “Mithila Painting” of Bihar and “Warli Art”. He also talked about his deep interest in Bangla films that inspired his journey towards theatre, stage designing and his active engagement with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) movement.
Mr Parekh throughout the talk iterated his deep connection with Kolkata and Bengali culture and his deep fascination with Bengali women that he visions in the direction of a powerful presence vehemently presented by artists like Ganga Devi and Sita Devi.
The event was attended by well-known creative minds from the art and literary circuit. Many prominent art critics also attended the event and appreciated the concept behind it.
About GAG Moderne
GAG Moderne, rechristened from Gita Art Gallery has a history dated back in 1964 opened by Mr. Kuljeet Singh Bhutalia and presently being Delhi’s oldest art gallery. The gallery boasts of reviving and instigating the flourishment of art in India. When art becomes passion, it finds its own way for its manifestation and flourishment and with the reopening a promise of new commissions, old Masters and Grand Masters featuring with their unparalleled works and new displays of designated collections is being fulfilled. The gallery has never shielded from hosting committed works of art and the empowering space is now operated by NEANGO Studio, a creative space co-owned by artists Neha Talwar and Anirudh Tripathi.
Credit : https://www.newdelhitimes.com/padma-shri-artist-creative-genious-manu-parekh-hold-spectators-spellbound-at-g-a-g-moderne-art-gallery/