My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oye, Yeh Van Gogh Shan Gogh ki hai

Have you seen the "Sex and the City" episode where a film actor goes to an art gallery, mistakes the fire extinguisher to be an art work, and asks for its price?
Well that has been always the case for many of us including me. Yes, till the 18th century it was OK.. the paintings had some semblance to reality and you could admire how well Rembrandt had painted the cloth folds, how neat the spoon was in a dutch still life, or how Georges de la Tour used light and dark effects. Many middle class families do buy prints of modern paintings but mainly based on how well it matches with the wall paint and the rest of the furniture. It is especially difficult for us Indians, used to calendar paintings of bloated images of the Gods, to appreciate a Frank Stella 3D jumbo. Of course the rich can buy an original along with a book on its criticism, and often the art trader himself gives a crash course on social talk to be accompanied with the sold painting.
An interesting animal is the Indian software engineer, he has to go to the art galleries abroad for tick value (and also most public art galleries are free entry). But once there, what does he do? Often he doesn't waste any time, goes straight to the museum shop and buys a safe "Van Gogh" or a "Da Vinci" print to show-off back home. And for some it ends up as another opportunity to check e-mail in the free museum computers. Art for the sake of art or for the sake of tick?


Charukesi said...

this I guess, is "Patel art" - same as Patel tourism - been there, seen that, done that, clicked that. period.

Shivaji said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong if one doesn't comprehend some art work...
I think Japanese toursist are sterotyped worldwide to be doing Patel tours.. I myslef did a Patel tour of Boston and saw all the tourist sights in a 45 minute walk :-)
I think Patels are made scapegoats because they were the early Indian tourists.. Even americans while checking my passports have asked me how come I am not a Patel.. I don't think there is a need to avoid "been there, clicked that"..every individual has his own likes and dislikes and choses his travel motto accordingly..