Portraits by Jason Balducci.

Portraits by Jason Balducci.
An Interview with Jason Balducci.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Jason Balducci, and I’m an Italian visual artist currently based between Italy and Canada.

What brought you to Art?

I have always been surrounded by art, both my parents worked in the field, so I grew up in an environment of visual stimulation.
So, I would say that art was brought to me, and during the years it became the expression of my feelings where words weren’t enough. I have always felt that I was different from others, kind of an outsiders. During the moments when I preferred to spend my time alone, art was always a companion and vehicle to make me feel part of something.

What is your driving force?

My driving force is to push further into experimentation and the unknown. I can say that It's like a personal quest to find that something that you haven't found yet, an expression of inner feelings that represents the invisible to others. For me Art in general is the best expression of the human being and an universal language that breaks all possible barriers.

What kind of work you do and why?

I do paintings, mainly portraits. In painting a portrait the problem is to find a technique by which you can give over all the pulsations of a person. That's why portrait paintings are so fascinating and difficult. Most people go to the most academic painters when they want to have their portraits made because, for some reason, they prefer a sort of colour photograph of themselves instead of thinking of having themselves really caught and trapped on the canvas. The model is someone made of blood and flesh, and what has to be caught is their spirit and emanation of energy. I  paint people because I truly think that art is an obsession with life and after all, as we are human beings, our greatest obsession is with ourselves.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I very much prefer working from the photographs taken of people I know, most of the times my models are people I have had the chance to know, so that while transporting their image on canvas I can add characteristics that I remember through shapes and colours.
It is harder to attempt to do a portrait from photographs of somebody I don’t know, but if I both know them and have photographs of them, I find it easier to work than actually having their presence in my studio. I think that if I have the presence of the model in my room, I won’t be able to drift so freely as I can with the photographic image. I feel free when I’m alone with their memory, it allows me to distort the thing far beyond appearances.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

This is a difficult question to answer since I appreciate many artists, each one for a different reason. The ones that I admire the most are Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Willem de Kooning. As living artists I find the work of Andrew Salgado so interesting and inspiring, both for his great technique and the messages within his work. I really hope to meet him someday.

Collages by an American Artist Madeline McLaughlin.

Collages by an American Artist Madeline McLaughlin.
An Interview with Madeline McLaughlin.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Madeline McLaughlin. I am an American artist, based in Los Angeles, CA. 

What brought you to Art?

I cannot remember a time when art was not a part of my life. I was extremely fortunate to have creative parents who thrust crayons into my hands the minute I could hold them. As a child, I was constantly drawing, acting, painting, knitting, sewing, filmmaking, sculpting—if you could think of a craft, I would do it. I loved creating something out of nothing. I was a very, very shy kid, so art became a way to express myself to others. Throughout my life, I have explored so many different art forms and could not imagine existing without art. 

What is your driving force?

Quite frankly, I’d go insane from boredom if I didn’t create. My mind goes about a million miles per hour, and without a creative outlet, the world can morph into something rather banal and painful. I have to make something, anything, to simply survive this planet I was assigned to (haha.) In all seriousness, it is what brings me to others. When my words fail me, my artwork articulates my thoughts for me. I am driven to communicate with those around me in the most genuine way possible; and that is through my artwork.

What kind of work you do and why?

Although I had dabbled in seemingly every art form within the Michael’s Craft Store inventory, I somehow fell into digital art quite recently, and well, sorta kinda fell in love. I studied film at NYU and from there have explored archive footage and photoshop techniques. Through finding experimental filmmakers I liked, I stumbled upon digital collage artists and thought the very original thought - “Oh I could do that!” But then I, well, did actually do that. I found it was a way to take so much of the imagery I had stored in my brain from film and pop culture, and transform those pre-existing images into something completely new.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Through the medium of digital collage, I explore a variety themes such as death, heartache, anxiety and loneliness. So all the stuff that’s just cooking up into a surrealist soup in my brain and that I have to dish out in consumable dosages or else it explodes all over the kitchen that is my reality (haha.) I manipulate ready-made images that range from pulp comics, movie posters, and old photographs, to vintage novel covers and classic paintings; I divorce them from their former intention and meaning; and create worlds, characters, and situations that are wholly unique. With my collages, I am able to manipulate the imagery and completely recontextualise what they evoke. I aim to combine images in a way that would never be expected from there first conception. 

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

One artist that I totally and completely admire is the watercolor artist, Michelle Avery Konczyk. Although I don’t usually work in watercolor, it is a medium that I have such great reverence for, as it is a very difficult and under-appreciated form. Koncsyk’s watercolors are both thought-provoking and impressive. She too works with surreal and dark imagery which inspires me daily. 

Human Heads by Henrike Gomber from Germany.

Human Heads by Henrike Gomber from Germany.
An Interview with Henrike Gomber.

1) Who and where are you from?

My name is Henrike Gomber. I’m a German artist, based near Frankfurt.

2) What brought you to Art?

The work with ‚typical’ arts-materials like paper and colour accompanies me throughout my whole life. For many years I worked in product-design, as illustrator and colorator in different companies, professions where contact to colour and material is elementary. Painting in my leisure time has always been a relaxation and a hobby for me. But only when I went through a private and professional crisis I realized that painting means more to me then only a pastime, an amusement. It helped me to overcome problematic life-situations, it helped me to canalize and to free all the creativity and ideas that were stuck inside me.

3) What is your driving force?

Since I had that very realization I can hardly stop painting, it is like an addiction, but a healthy addiction. 
I am moved by an inner energy which I can barely describe. I start a painting without thinking about a concept. I sit in front of the empty paper and think of: Nothing! 
Then I take a brush or a spatula, dip it into some acrylic paint, without reflecting. And then it commences: Colour surfaces arise, they overlie themselves, they complement themselves. Then I take a pen or a wax crayon, draw contours. Figures arise, some of them dissolve, some complement themselves and add up to an image. And suddenly, before I know why, I feel that the picture is completed. And literally I awake from this inebriety and wonder why the painting looks the way it does. This inner monologue, or better this dialogue with myself, with my creativity, gives me strength and makes me happy. And if other people like the result: wonderful!

4) What kind of work you do and why?

I almost exclusively paint human heads. And I say heads with intent, because these aren’t portraits. They are abstracted, mask-like faces with human attributes. 
I usually work with acrylic paint and ink on paper. As a starting point I take one or more abstract colour surfaces and on these surfaces I draw contours and outlines. With the help of these lines the eye of the spectator gets foothold. Recognizable forms like eyes, ears or headgears arise. 
I like this interplay of abstraction and concretion, of the two-dimensional surface and depth. And I like that my faces express emotions. As a spectator, and I identify myself as a spectator, too, you can get in contact with the faces immediately and overcome the separation of reality and illustration. But I don’t want to dictate a certain interpretation of my work: The faces speak for themselves and every spectator receives his individual message.

5) Tell us more about your thought process.

As I tried to describe before, I don’t think about a concept before I start painting. I don’t do sketches beforehand and I don’t work with models. I rather give rein to my intuition and allow free play to my creativity within the frames set by the paper. For me it is fascinating that in spite of all the liberty of my rational thoughts, certain formal features appear regularly. Let me give you some examples: my heads often wear headgears as crowns, turbans or open forms. I mostly depict busts; the posture of the head is always precise, the posture of the body is only suggested by neck and shoulders. So my faces are not reduced to the section from chin to skullcap but are expanding to all sides. 
These formal expansions of my heads symbolize opening and protection at the same time. The fact that I repeat these formal features over and over again shows that behind my conscious, rational personality there seems to be another artist-individual inside me. And this artist-individual wants to discover the variety of human illustrations over and over again. And I appreciate that, since I like my faces and spend a lot of time with them in my studio. 

6) Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Unfortunately I can’t answer this question by mentioning one specific name of an artist. I avoid to entitle one certain artist to be my role model and to concentrate my admiration on this very person. No matter if it is an artist from arts history or a living colleague of mine. What interests me is the degree of authenticity an art work expresses. That includes not only visual arts, but also music, photography or other forms of artistic work. I am fascinated by artworks that build up an emotional connection to me which I can’t escape from. And I hope that this is exactly the effect my paintings have on others.

Mixed Media Art by Zelene Schlosberg.

Mixed Media Art by Zelene Schlosberg.
ECF7
An Interview with Zelene Schlosberg.

Who and where are you from?

Hello, Artospective Readers, my name is Zelene Schlosberg. I am a Chicago based artist working in mixed media, collage and sculpture. I was born in China and moved to the US in 2009, and I think you can see the influence of both cultures in my works.

What brought you to Art?

I have always been intensely interested in art, but the desire to create my own works began in earnest about ten years ago. Art is a mirror, or a profound document, of what it means to live on our planet in our time. Like all of the arts (music, dance, etc), it speaks in a deep way to the human condition. I also feel the physical making of art, while exhausting and time consuming, has tremendous therapeutic value to the practitioner.

What is your driving force?

The more I study the art of both today and the past, the greater my desire and drive to contribute to this unusual record of humanity becomes. I am also constantly listening to contemporary classical music, a genre that also influences me greatly. So, all of the above are the forces that drive me.

What kind of work you do and why?

Before I talk about the work itself, I’d like to discuss my influences, which include traditional Chinese ink paintings and calligraphy, as well as the Buddhist writers that have impacted these artists. This year in particular, I embarked on an in-depth study of these writers. There was a time not too long ago where I was doing mostly thinking and reading, but now I am back to the creating process itself. Another influence has been contemporary classical music, which I have been exposed to quite a bit the last five years. The sheer variety of stylistic approaches, not to mention the technical virtuosity of the musicians, fascinates me. I was lucky to have a painting recently featured as the cover art for composer John Liberatore's debut CD album.The nature of my work these days involves mixed media and collage, and less use of paint, but this could change with the season!

Tell us more about "Interim Landscape" Series.

Some of the specific artist tools that are my favorites include diluted paint, which I often let guide itself. The chance operations of where the paint will go are in line with my study of I Ching notions. I have also used thread for many different series of works. Thread by its very nature creates a sense of line, sometimes ambiguous in its directional confidence, due to its specific texture. I'm always discovering new tools and ways to appropriate seemingly mundane objects into a more rarefied aesthetic context.

I think most artists would say that whatever art they are making at present is what they are most proud of, what they are most invested in, and that is the case with me. I have been reading a lot about art history and criticism, as well as delving deeply into Buddhist texts, and I feel like the current series represents my distillation and combining of these subjects.
Landscapes deal with space, and I feel my abstract constructions, while not suggesting a concrete geographical location, suggest elemental qualities that are tangentially relevant to the natural world. 

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I haven’t discussed this elsewhere, but one artist I would like to single out here is Franz West. The Adaptives is his series most readily relatable to my own work, in its use of tertiary colors (usually white), simple textures, and a certain playful quality. I also very much love his outdoor sculptures, which are both provocative and playful, and which Peter Schjeledahl rightly described as “maybe the most energetic and affable art for public spaces since Alexander Calder.”

Paintings by Justine Otto.

Paintings by Justine Otto.
DREAMERS 180 x 260 cm, oil on linen, 2018
An Interview with Justine Otto.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Justine Otto, I was born in Poland and came with nine years to Germany, where I‘ve studied art at the smallest public art academy in Germany called Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.

What brought you to Art?

As a child I was always collecting small notebooks because I loved the paper as a drawing material. We had a lot of art books at home and there were some special miniature art books available in Poland. My mother collected them and I felt really in love with them and carried them everywhere in my little suitcase. Later one in school I started to paint on bedsheet as I had no proper canvas.

What is your driving force?

I love painting. I love the process of creating something very individual. In particular, painting is a medium which, like no other, is able to save time. It fascinates me that you can see so many steps of the artist in one painting.In addition, as a child I loved studios or working places of artists with everything that went with them. I cannot imagine a life without a studio with all the colors and utensils and the special atmosphere.

What kind of work you do and why?

I am mainly a painter, but I also make sculptures with epoxy resin and other found materials.My recent ”Heroes” series, which was inspired by old black-and-white photos of public officials and generals, is about breaking up and deconstructing these traditional ’archetypes’, literally, in painting.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I find it particularly exciting to explore the border between figuration and abstraction. My most recent works include figurative elements in addition to completely abstract passages. I like the contrast between complete detachment, where painting is completely free, unrestricted by the limitation of a (signifying) form – and figuration, in which ratio is predominant. I try to achieve this by varying the density of different techniques. Over the years I have developed a wide range of techniques from which I can now draw: there is spraying, wet-on-wet painting, taping, scraping, leveling out, dissolving all, stamping, working with various tools. I like it when dissimilar techniques come together and the entire object merges into a resonant image. There are no taboos. Being courageous and challenging oneself is part of what painting is for me. Over and over I experiment with a variety of different image carriers and materials. I have to arouse my curiosity again and again, this being very important to me for my painting process. Learning processes, as hard as they sometimes may be, are part of the venture for me. Often, the best paintings emerge from allegedly failed episodes, paths are then revealed, which might otherwise have remained closed. I also spend a lot of time in the studio simply gazing thoughtfully. Especially in regards to the largerformats, I always need to look at the respectiveimage for a long time from a certain distance. This observing is then replaced by a process of adding and in turn removing detail, if something seems too decorative to me.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

It's a little hard to limit yourself to one artist, but I appreciate William Kentridge so much. I like his open political approach and his animated films, which he creates from his drawings.

Figurative Painter Leticia Banegas from Honduras.

Figurative Painter Leticia Banegas from Honduras
An Interview with Leticia Banegas.

Who and where are you from?

I am Leticia Banegas, figurative painter and I was born and live in Honduras.

What brought you to Art?

I am making art since I can remember. When I was a child I would try to copy the faces in magazine covers, later in my teens I discovered painting. But art supplies were very expensive back then in Honduras. There was only one store and since there was no competition they pretty much sold art supplies for really high prices. In part that was a Good thing because that allowed me to experiment with non traditional materials and with school supplies. Later when I graduated high school I began studying graphic design in the University. It was the closest to art school in Honduras.

Even though I loved making art, for a long time I took it as a hobby (because I really didn't think I could make a living from art). After years jumping from one job to another I decided I couldn't keep taking Jobs I hated just to survive. So I took the plunge, it was so scary and exciting to quit my current job at the time and try to make a living by doing what I felt I was born to do. And it was the best decision.

What is your driving force?

I love what I do, so I guess that is my driving force in a way. I get up every morning happy to start work because I am doing what I love the most.

What kind of work you do and why?

I see my work as the portrayal of a world that exists somewhere between heaven and earth. When I paint I see these women, I see them walking like if underwater with their hair flowing in slow motion. They exist, I see them. It is a magical realm that most of us can´t see but that doesn´t mean it doesn´t exist. What inspires me is the women in my family through generations. Their stories are so rich, complex and some of them are almost surreal. I try to create a "world" populated by the magical presence of these women.

Tell us more about your thought process.
I don't really plan my paintings. Usually it all begins with an idea but the end result is completely different from where I started. When I draw these women I start building a story behind the character. It is somewhat hard to explain. When I am in the process of drawing I start to get to know the woman I am painting, her dreams, her life, her personality. So in a way it feels like the painting makes itself and I am just the channel that gets the

information out through a canvas.

Please share with us the modern artist whose work you find Interesting.

Patricia Ariel

Brad Kunkle

Igor and Marina

Portrait Paintings by Mario Henrique from Portugal.

Portrait Paintings by Mario Henrique from Portugal.
Somnium No. 9 Series III
An Interview with Mario Henrique.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Mario Henrique, i’m a painter based in Cascais, Portugal.

What brought you to Art?

I’ve always been curious and interested in art, even as child. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel quite a bit growing up, and living in Europe, it is relatively easy to move between different countries and experience distinct realities and cultures. My family always encouraged me to do so - I was exposed to museums, art galleries and exhibitions at a young age, and that was certainly a fundamental influence in my upbringing and visual culture.

What is your driving force?

Although I try not to rely to much on it - as it is more important to be self aware and mindful of your surroundings - one can draw inspiration from almost anything. A movie that I saw, a music that’s playing in the background, some old photos I revisit on my phone… the simplest things can trigger me into painting. Having said that, I’m more drawn to the human figure and facial expressions - that’s what I paint almost exclusively. But I can be driven or motivated to paint a face by being exposed to a completely different subject, like an abstract painting from another artist that may evoke an emotion that I relate to and then try to convey in my own work.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint people. I find it to be the most interesting subject. I’m always intrigued by the subtleties and the double meanings of people’s body language, expressions, and looks… Whether I’m painting something more realistic, like the portrait collections, or something that leans more toward the abstract, like my “Ballerina Series,” I’m always fascinated by the unpredictability of the human behavior, the sudden movements, the brief glances, the impermanence of facial expressions.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I always paint with images and photos as reference. I donʼt like using live models, that gives me a sense of urgency and self-awareness. I prefer to use photographs, which I proceed to hang in my studio walls. I print the same image in colour, in black and white, with more or less contrast, more or less zoom. Then I select the colours that Iʼm going to use. Iʼm colour blind, so I have a short palette and paint directly out of the tubes and bottles, I donʼt tend to mix paints. I start by throwing paint at the canvas, without much thought. I have my photos as reference, but this process is inevitably random and chaotic. I use large spatulas to spread the paint on the canvas and when Iʼm happy with the result, I start to “dig out” the subject using dark and light colours to convey depth and emulate shadows or bright areas. Basically, where the paint falls on the canvas is where the figure will emerge, so my process is very much based on chance and spontaneity.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

William Stoher creates incredibly deep portrait paintings, I really enjoy the texture, complexity and intensity of the expressions and the scale of the pieces. We are both represented by the same gallery in Atlanta, GA (USA) - the Bill Lowe Gallery - although I have never met him in person.

Dark Art by Kim Jakobsson from Sweden.

Dark Art by Kim Jakobsson from Sweden
Function
An Interview with Kim Jakobsson.

Who and where are you from?

I'm an artist from a small town called Örebro, located in the middle of Sweden. You have never heard of it. Probably.

What brought you to Art?

I've always been painting, but only quite recently I decided to take it to the next level. I'm very active on Instagram where I try to promote my art as much as possible. The need to express myself has always been a big part of my life, whether it's through writing or painting. At this point in my life it's all about painting though.

What is your driving force?

To constantly develop my skillset. I feel like I learn new things every day about painting. And I also have a dream to be able to do this on full time, like every artist out there I suppose. It's a weird time for contemporary artists, there are so many of us – and only a handful will be able to do it full time. Hopefully I can be one of them soon. I'm trying my best to make that happen, but it's tough.

What kind of work you do and why?

I pretty much only paint human subjects. There have been times where I've tried to paint different things, but I always end up coming back to humans. There is something endlessly fascinating about the body and the face. I guess my work could be described as surreal and dark. I try to delve deep into the human psyche and extract our deepest fears and anxiety.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I as many probably feel like it's damn near impossible to be original in this climate. Everything has been done a million times already, and I struggle alot with trying to come up with new ideas. I spend many hours a day painting, but end up throwing alot of stuff away – since it lacks originality.

My process usually consists of me painting a pretty normal portrait. Let it sink in for a day or two, and then I deform it and try to make the painting look weird. I do what with many different techniques – but my end goal is always to make it as weird as possible. But at the same time the painting needs to retain some sort of realism. I do believe that art today need some sort of realism in order to convey an emotion. Totally abstract stuff is of zero interest to me.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Oh wow, there are so many. I would have to say Ken Currie, an oil painter from Scotland. He's a huge inspiration to me. He has a really interesting way of portraying people in a weird and creepy way. His painting "Gallowgate Lass" is one of the most haunting images I've seen. 

This guy toally deserves more recognition. A true master when it comes to dark art.

Ganesh Visarjan.

Ganesh Visarjan.
Devotees began bidding adieu to idols of Lord Ganesh which were installed and worshiped at homes on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Immersion of the idols of Lord Ganesha is last part of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Before saying Good Bye people bring the idols to local water body dancing and celebrating, there they perform the prayers and whisper their wish into his ears. 

These pics are taken of the people who were performing different rituals at Sagar Lake, Jaipur.

Sanganeri Print.

Sanganeri Print.
Shot taken at Sanganer Print Factory where the workers are spreading and making the cloth ready on printing table to start the print process.

Sanganer is a town situated in Jaipur district, Rajasthan, 16 km south of state capital Jaipur. It is famous for textile printing, handmade paper industry, and for Jain temples. Sanganer prints are one of its own kinds, for the reason that patterns in bright colours are always printed on white backgrounds. Sanganeri Hand block printing received the geographical indication.
By Manav Singhi


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Inflorescence by Soey Milk - Her New Exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery.

Inflorescence by Soey Milk - Her New Exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery.
Soey Milk_‘Sādhanā’ (oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches).
On Saturday, September 8, artist Soey Milk will premiere her second solo show with Corey Helford GalleryInflorescence. In over 20 new paintings and drawings, Milk captures the most significant moments and eras from the timeline of her life, embodying them as vibrant portraits of some of her friends. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Royston Langdon, formerly of Spacehog, will perform under his solo moniker LEEDS at the opening reception.

inflorescence
in·flo·res·cence   \ ˌin-flə-ˈre-sᵊn(t)s \


a : the mode of development and arrangement of flowers on an axis
b : a floral axis with its appendages;  also : a flower cluster
c : the budding and unfolding of blossoms : flowering

Since embarking on her career as a visual artist, Milk’s works have served as markers in the timeline of her life, with her ability to summon memories of all the major (and small) events happening, at the time she was creating them. In Inflorescence, the history of her work and the word’s various meanings collide with the pieces of art unfurling as chapters from the floral axis of her life, embodied as a bouquet of ethereal portraits that anchors her narrative as she created this new body of work.

An obsessive sketcher and doodler, for the first time ever, Milk will be showcasing the initial seedling drawings and ideas that would later blossom into some of her best-known paintings.

“Usually I will start with an idea and an image, then I spend a good amount of time creating a drawing of it,” says Milk. “These studies often serve as blueprints for my paintings. I work in many layers and glazes, and often on three or four paintings simultaneously. Usually my process will slow down significantly near finishing, then the tweaking hour comes where paintings are revisited and fine tuned until we are all happy.”

Inflorescence will also continue experimentation with embedded objects as a medium in her work, with painted-over wallpapers and fabrics comprising the background of some of her paintings, pulled from the rooms they were created in. In one piece, a feather from her chicken spontaneously made its way onto the canvas and was sealed in place by a layer of paint.

Soey Milk is one of the young artists who has already made a name for herself not only in the United States but in the international art world. A graduate of Art Center in Pasadena, CA, Milk has carefully developed her inimitable style over the years becoming known for her portraits of truly alluring and beautiful women. Drawing a lot of inspiration from her South Korean heritage, she creates refined paintings and drawings which have the great balance between the sharp focus of the charming subjects and the vivid chaos of the background.

Since embarking on her career as a visual artist, Milk’s works have served as markers in the timeline of her life, with her ability to summon memories of all the major (and small) events happening at the time she was creating them. In Inflorescence, the history of her work and the word’s various meanings collide with the pieces of art unfurling as chapters from the floral axis of her life, embodied as a bouquet of ethereal portraits that anchors her narrative as she created this new body of work.

Soey Milk’s Inflorescence will open Saturday, September 8 with an opening reception from 7pm - 11pm in the Main Gallery. The reception is open to the public and the exhibit will be on view through October 13. The space is open Tuesday - Saturday, 12pm - 6pm. Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033.

JCB Prize for Literature 2018.

JCB Prize for Literature 2018


List of ten starts the journey leading to the shortlist of five (October 3) and the announcement of the winning novel (October 27)

Mumbai, September 5, 2018: The inaugural JCB Prize for Literature today announced the ten most distinguished novels of the year, as selected by the jury.  The award, launched earlier this year, was open to entries till May 31, 2018. After months of reading and evaluation,the jury presented a longlist which displays the great diversity of contemporary literature by Indian writers. 
Of these ten books, the jury will go on to select a shortlist of five, which will be announced on October 3.The final award – India’s richest, at Rs 25 lakhs – will be presented to the writer of the winning novel on October 27. The five shortlisted writers each receive Rs 1 lakh.  If the winning work is a translation, the translator receives an additional Rs 5 lakh.

The first edition of the Prize received an overwhelming response to the call for submissions. Entries came from writers in nineteen states; 22% of these were translations into English from seven other Indian languages: Assamese, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telegu. 35% of entries were written by women authors. Each entry was read by the judging panel consisting of: award-winning film director Deepa Mehta (Chair), entrepreneur and scholar Rohan Murthy, Yale University astrophysicist and writer Priyamvada Natarajan,novelistVivek Shanbhag, and author and translator Arshia Sattar.

Event by “International Performing Arts Festival” (IPAF) Jaipur.

Event by “International Performing Arts Festival” (IPAF) Jaipur.
 Bharatnatyam Performance by Tanya Saxena.
“International Performing Arts Festival” (IPAF) organized a beautiful event at Jawahar kala Kendra, Jaipur on Tuesday evening 4-Sep-2018. The Event started with the folk performances of Rajasthan which was followed by the beautiful Kathak performance by Khushboo Panchal.

'Disability is a matter of perception'! Then came a performance by the Delhi based dance group “We Are One” of differently-abled artists who prove the statement true. The performance of these artist were stunning.

Tanya Saxena had given the last performance but she made it sure that audience doesn’t leave the auditorium with any doubt that why “Bharatnatyam is the poetic baring of the soul through motion”.

First Indian Ceramics Triennale - 2018

Ceramic Art is probably the most attractive art yet growing very slowly, specially in India. For the expansion of this art form and allow ceramics art to be appreciated, The first Indian Ceramics Triennale is inaugurated on 31st August at Jawahar Kala Kendra in collaboration with Contemporary Clay Foundation which will go on till 18 Nov. The triennale is aptly themed 'Breaking Ground' showcasing 47 artists including 35 Indian and 12 international artists. It also includes symposiums, films, masterclasses and also the book launch 'Building with Fire' is scheduled on 2nd September by Ray Meeker.

The project executed at a triennale represent a broad and diverse exploration by artists engaged equally with materiality and thought. Each artist project is the presentation of a single idea.

Adil writer is one of the 47 artists, Well known among these are Ray Meeker who founded Golden Bridge Pottery in Puducherry on 1971. Then there are many artists who showcase their art, some of them are Anitra Sinha, Dipalee Daroz, Parth Dasgupta, Rahul Kumar, Shampa Shah and Rakhee Kane. There are also LN Talur and Thukral & Tagra, well-known artists who work in diverse mediums, but are showing their work in ceramics at the Triennale.

International names such as Jane Perryman, Ingrid Murphy and veteran artist Jacques Kaufmann also presenting their project.

Then I heard the 'Sounds of the Pink City' by Ingrid Murphy. She made the relationship between ceramic artifacts and technology. As in 'Sounds of the Pink City' the cups become touch sensor using gold lustre that access the ambient sound recorded across the old city. Her body of works showcases here includes 'A Day at the Hunt', 'The Grumpy dog' and the 'I O Touch' which connects two hands across the world i.e. When touched in Jaipur its partner hand illuminates in the UK.

Then some other works exhibits are 'Foot Mat' by Ajay Kanwal, viewers are invited to stand, walk or run on the Foot Mat. Also the 'Evanescent Landscape- Svargalok, Jaipur' by Juree Kim. Inspired by historical buildings of Jaipur and miniature painting titled 'svargalok' at city palace museum, Juree created her imagined city.

Barasun a Play by Shahjahan Hussain.

Barasun a Play by Shahjahan Hussain.
Yesterday evening 30- Aug- 2018 saw a play “Barasun” at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. Written and Directed by Shahjahan Hussain, Sound was by Himanshu Vyas and Costumes were by Mumal Tanwar. 

To start with I am not an expert to critic a play but just sharing my views as a viewer. If we talk about the technicalities of the play everything looked perfect to me, the sound, light, costumes everything was perfect. The acting of all the actors was good except for two insignificant glitches in the play of 70 minutes. On the whole the play looked perfect but there was just one problem that I faced. 

I was puzzled till the mid of play that what is this play all about and what does the director wants to say? By the end I got it, that ok it’s a dark play about how influencers had & are manipulating and divided the humans from the beginning to stay in power. Shahjahan Hussain has written and directed his idea in a form of jigsaw puzzle, you have to keep all the scenes in mind and then have to solve the puzzle to understand what is it all about. The problem is that to understand these types of play you need full concentration which is hard to attain at a theater. If this would have been a movie and I would have been watching it late night undisturbed then I might would have liked it. But in the form of play where most of the audience reached unaware of what they are going to face this was very heavy.

Below are few Glimpse of the play.

Paintings by Scott Hutchison.

Paintings by Scott Hutchison.
Her Echo - Her Shadow.
An Interview with Scott Hutchison.

Who and from where are you from?

My name is Scott Hutchison. I am a painting and drawing professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  I have been painting professionally for over 20 years and currently paint out of my home studio in Arlington Virginia. (A few photos attached) 

How you got into this?

My work has evolved a lot over the years. My current body of paintings are a culmination of years of creating. Essentially, one pieces leads to another, and so on, so it's difficult to fully describe how I came to do what I do now. However, I will say that the model is my main source of inspiration. I work from a model's pose and begin expanding or subtracting from there. Think of the model a song's melody.  I try to compose around that melody; manipulating it, repeating it and changing its tone and colors. The pose I choose is wholly based on my gut instinct. I look for that initial personality or inner life within the pose or gaze.  

What is your driving force?

My paintings and drawings are comprised of overlapping figures stitched together in one composition. They are multifaceted, abstracted, and meant to evoke the idea that our identity is in flux. Though we are singular beings, our psyche is not. We are molded in part by time and our life experiences. 

The subjects in my paintings personify the strength and frailty of consciousness and the depths to which we experience the human condition. The figures are displaced, out of sync and created from a multitude of people, like ghosts or layered memories, both timeless and self-aware.

All of my work can be seen as a journal entry, the manifestation of a deep concern for place and purpose in this world. I reassign faces and body parts through a mixture of trial and error, coupled with random chance and the need to create something from nothing.  During this process, I am fully aware that I am seeking answers to a larger question: Who or what defines us as an individual? Are we here by accident, or is there an invisible hand at play? Why are we here? Is there a purpose, or are we just a product of our culture and our experiences? My art is meant to tug at the viewer and suggest that there is more to the material world.

What kind of work you do and why?

As I mentioned before, my painting style has evolved a great deal over my career. I am particularly proud of the fact that my work has changed and my styles altered to reflect my personal and artistic concerns.Timeline The techniques I use today best reflect what I am trying to say about the ideas of self. The real vs the unreal, or the physical vs the psychological. For example, the dark backgrounds isolate the figure and allow me to create a greater amount of illusory realistic depth. However, I also use synthetic colors to evoke a psychological conflict within the work.

So what are your future plans? 

I am currently doing small to mid-sized portraits focused pieces, but I see myself moving toward larger multi-figurative paintings in the near future. I would also like to expand my subject matter by incorporating the background and possibly changing the shape of my canvases to enhance the broken and reassembled themes within the picture plane.  I have no gallery openings currently planned, but I am excited to be showing my work at a new contemporary art fair called Superfine DC early November 2018. 

Please share with us the artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I am inspired by artists that use light and contrast by deploying a technique called chiaroscuro:
A few artists I follow that also use this technique extremely well: Caravaggio:  and Vincent Desiderio .

Figurative Stories by Lupo Sol.

Figurative Stories by Lupo Sol.
The_kite_of_the_grandpa.
An Interview with Lupo Sol.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Pedro, although my friends call me Kepa. I use Lupo Sol as a stage name, so as you can see, there are already too many names! You can call me Lupo simply.

I was born in Euskadi, north of Spain, but I have lived in Alicante for five years.

What brought you to Art?

Although I always drew, I did comics and things like that, I did not start painting seriously until 2015. After being a web designer and developer in Madrid, I moved to Alicante to be with my girlfriend and, yes, to try to change course in my life.

One day, she, my wife, gave me a box of acrylic paints and I began little by little to resume my hobby, until I came to think of art as the liberator of my ruin, ha ha, but I am still in ruins and also crazy. So, I subsist as I can and I try to continue learning, you know.

I do not know if this answer will be romantic enough, but that's the way things are.

What is your driving force?

I imagine you are referring to my main motivation when it comes to painting ... I always liked to draw characters, faces, in everyday scenes of life, but I can not deny that painting for me is a therapy, an exorcism, that helps me to express my doubts, confusions and paradoxes, and if possible, to denounce the falsity of this absurd society.

That's what I would really like, to say what I think without metaphysics, without excessive symbology ... I do not try to climb to the clouds and tell you fantastic stories about "my art"; what you see is what you get.

Sometimes I try to make fun of the mass, of those empty beings that roam the streets, of all that is conventional.

Other times I try to be a good guy and I paint things a little prettier.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint many portraits lately, but they are invented characters and I improvise a lot. When I have some money to buy a canvas, I think more about what I'm going to paint, I draw sketches. I can not afford to waste a canvas and money... yes, it's a bit painful. Anyway, this does not improve the result, unfortunately. So I try to paint as long as possible during the day, which is why I have many more works on paper.

You know, if I had to wait for the inspiration to come ... I could not consider myself a painter.

I am learning many things about color, so my main job is to learn! I can not tell you much more about it.

I use oil to paint on the canvas, and when I paint on paper, I use gouache almost always. Sometimes, acrylic, but I do not like this type of material too much.

And well, with respect to the themes that I paint, I already told you in the previous question. For now I have not been able to focus on painting thematic series and that kind of things that people like to exhibit ... I only got to paint a series of paintings on paper with dark backgrounds that I called Dark Series. For the rest, mine is not more than shooting without aiming.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Until recently, I tried to paint images and memories of my childhood and youth, but for better or for worse, I have less and less memory. I thought I could capture a kind of autobiography in my work, but it is not always possible.

Most of my life I have lived in the north, and that marks you. Now everything has changed, but in my memories the sky was gray and there were small iron particles floating in it that came from the factories. Now I even live in a much sunnier part of the country, but when I paint, my mind flies like those metallic particles and again I am a child drawing in a notebook.

I really do not know if I am answering your questions correctly!

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

You can imagine the amount of interesting artists that never cease to amaze me. Now I mention Ron Throop, a passionate artista and enthusiastic colourist, an activist of the Stuckism movement with whom I identify myself. Great remarkable guy without a doubt: https://www.ronthroop.com

Nor can I fail to mention José Luis Micó, an intimate artist of refined style, full of feeling and great honesty who tries to break through in this strange world of art: https://dibujoslu.blogspot.com

What sometimes happens to us is that we do not know where to go, or when, to have a little recognition at least as artisans. 

Portraits by Clare Trevens.

Portraits by Clare Trevens.
An Interview with Clare Trevens.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Clare Trevens and I am a French artist who lives in Southern France (Provence).

What brought you to Art?

I discovered painting thanks to my grandmother who was a painter as well and who gave me my first paintbrush (in this way initiating the interest I developed afterwards in painting).

What is your driving force?

At this stage the driving force is no longer definable. My interest is to push further into the experiment and the unknown. It's like a will to find whatever you haven't found yet, a personal quest for something you know is there but still invisible at the moment.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint people, portraits, faces. I can't resume myself to represent something else because I'm inexplicably drawn to it. A human being is complex enough in themselves to offer a wide range of emotions, contradictions and subtlety. I sometimes enjoy looking at a landscape painting or a still life, but I wouldn't paint this kind of subject. Human is enough for me.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I start with a vague idea of what I'd like to do, a creative concept I'd like to explore (like painting human puppets for instance). Then I work around this idea. The models are not really important, they are just an excuse to represent emotions. That's why I consider all of the portraits I make as self-portraits. They may not represent me but I know I transfused a bit of myself in them. Painting as a cathartic process is not a novelty.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

My favourite artists of the moment are Otero Carbonell and Henrik Uldalen, two major figurative painters. Their skills are no longer to be demonstrated anymore.

Expressionistic Portraits by William Stoehr.

Expressionistic Portraits by William Stoehr.
Misuzu 3 80x60 in.
An Interview with William Stoehr.

Who and where are you from?

William Stoehr from Boulder, Colorado, USA.

What brought you to Art?

In 1964 I was 16 years old and I wanted to be an artist. Willem de Kooning was my art hero but, the Vietnam War was raging, I couldn’t afford art school and I probably just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I became an engineer and ultimately president of National Geographic’s world-wide mapping businesses. 40 years later in 2004, I retired to become a full-time artist. I could afford to define success in my own way. It took a few years to find my voice – that which differentiates my work and specifies a moral foundation and vision.

What is your driving force?

For me, the essence of art is the exploration of fundamental issues of our time. I explore intolerance, discrimination, addiction and violence with its victims, witnesses and survivors. I believe that my job as an artist is to get you to think and to ask questions.

What kind of work you do and why?

I do large portraits – up to seven feet in height. They could be called expressionistic. Each portrait starts with an ambiguous expression, shared gaze and uncertain context calculated to provoke you into creating the narrative.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I begin with a live model and then work from reference photographs. I suggest certain features and realistically detail others. I use a limited pallet of acrylic paint along with metallic and iridescent colors that produce changing patterns with changes in lighting and view angle.

Working freely, I drip, brush, pour, scrub and scape paint while applying a variety of lines, dots and other adjustments. I often paint multi-views or facial features slightly out of alignment. I frequently paint vaguely different expressions for each side of the face. I look to cause changes in visual perception and emotional response. These variations might make my images appear more real as time, half remembered memories, and prior experiences affect your perception.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I am a big fan of Marlene Dumas. I like the expressive nature of her work. I like her method of letting the flows and drips guide her to a final image. She frequently employs a shared gaze. She pushes boundaries as she deals with subjects that some would consider controversial or unpleasant. Her art is in-your-face and gutsy.

Watercolor Artist Eugenia Gorbacheva from Russia.

Watercolor Artist Eugenia Gorbacheva from Russia.
An Interview with Eugenia Gorbacheva.

Who and where are you from? 

My name is Eugenia Gorbacheva and I'm watercolor artist. I live in Russia in a small and pretty city Zhukovsky.

What brought you to Art? 

My whole life was connected with art. As a child, I graduated from the fine arts school. I received a diploma in Russian State University named after AN Kosygin (Technology, Design, Art). 10 years worked as a fashion designer. But now I decided to devote myself to a completely watercolor painting.

What is your driving force? 

My driving force is my family. My little daughter inspires me every new day with her energy and vitality.

What kind of work you do and why? 

I love watercolor by its lightness, airiness, transparency. For it stubbornness, unpredictability. For the fact that he needs to tame and find a common language with it.

Tell us more about your thought process. 

I like to use bright colors in my paintings, but some landscapes require the use of more muted colors. 
When I paint, I focus on artwork as much as possible. At that moment, nothing can distract me.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Sergey Temerev This artist is just a magician when painting the sky.