Stay at friend's place: Had a wonderful stay at my friend Vikas and Sangita's place. Stayed there for about a week. Very relaxed. I had taken my painting materials with me and was able to paint quite well. Finished two paintings during that time. Usually, I cannot paint that fast. Anyway, the first one is called Fall in the Silicon Valley and second one is called Night in the Silicon Valley. Here they are.
Ate a lot of wonderful food in their place, especially Indian food. I know once I get back to China, that will stop. They have a nice big house very suited for my paintings. After we hung some paintings in their home it was quite transformed. Here are some shots.
Back to China: Home, sweet home. I think three months turned out to be too long for this visit. 6 weeks would have been appropriate. Anyway, I am ready to head back to Songzhuang, my sweet home.
The USA is splitting into two. I was in touch with both parts because I have numerous friends in the lucrative IT field and I live in impoverished Oakland. The richer folks live a very sealed off life. They are fighting to preserve their capital while the poor are fighting for food and roof. Which one will win is very clear. This was also the first time in my life that I had an IV hard drug user as my roommate. His arms were so covered with IV tracks, it was disgusting.
Next exhibition: One of my pieces “Conference of 3” will be on exhibit at Albuqurque's Free Style Gallery in February. Will let you know the details in the next few newsletters. This year I close out with a record number of exhibitions, 14 in three countries.
Happy holidays to all.
很好！ 很有装饰感 ，很现代的绘画。
hi bro! congrats and many such great shows in 2014 to you!
Hi Tanushree sis,
Thanks much. Hope your painting is also going well. I have sent you an email with answers to your questions.
December 13, 2013 The international art market
Art Basel: One of the most important art fairs in the world was held last weekend in Miami. This is a high profile show with attendees including actors Leonardo Di Caprio, Eva Longoria, musician Lionel Richie, property mogul Jorge Perez and architect Norman Foster. Attending artists included Jeff Koons, Olafur Eliasson and Kehinde Wiley. Sales at the art fair have bounced back very well from 5 years ago, when the world was going through the financial crisis. Significant sales included Guyton/Walker's colorful mattresses at $65,000, Sigmar Polke's mixed media piece for $1.4m and Yayoi Kusama's Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow priced at $500,000 (pictured below, photo David Owens).
The buyers and artists are now international. Countries such as Brazil, Qatar, China, Russia and India are now playing a much larger role in the art market. The buyers are also coming from more diverse fields ? finance, entertainment, real estate and technology. Why this interest in contemporary art and art fairs? The well to do people now are internationalized and have formed a stream that enjoys such art fairs and the social element that goes with it. There is an inherent thrill in spotting good art before the crowd does. Contemporary art has also become a means of investment as other financial instruments have turned more volatile in the recent years.
There is more about the Art Basel fair and the international art market here.
New Work: Ok. What have I been doing? I have finished two paintings. Looks like I am in a vegetation mood. You got it. Both paintings are about plants. One is a large flower blooming on a plant. The second one is a creeper with leaves and fruits. The first one has gotten some negative, angry reviews. You can see the two paintings here and here.
Also reworked some of my older paintings, that I had left in the USA for the last 3 years. The first is an animal that I had painted when I was living in a very remote part of China on the Qinlian mountains. That area is inhabited by shepherds and is very sparsely populated. If you need some salt, you have to travel 20 kms to get it. It was so remote. It was a special experience in my life. The mountains have a mystic feel and I went through some unusual experiences. Thus, this is a special painting that I could not have done anywhere else. Here it is.
Here is another one titled Can I? This was painted when I was living in Nanchang and was first exhibited in my solo exhibition in Munich, Germany.
The third one simply titled “Fish” is an intriguing painting that shows two fish frolicking in a blood red sea. I really like the feel of this painting. The curator of a show in Connecticut had accepted 4 of my other paintings, but rejected this one because “it was too edgy.”
Open house: My good friend Sandeep Seth is doing an open house of my paintings tomorrow. He lives in Sunnyvale, California. If you are in the area, please drop by. Contact me for details.
You can also leave your questions, comments, curses etc here.
Nov 29, 2013: Growth - Zero to Art Expert
My brother Suriyan. A brilliant technical guy. Works in software. Knew nothing about art. I paint some creative, original stuff. But. But, he liked some of my very old paintings. Paintings done 12 years ago. Paintings that I now shudder to look at. Belong with the Gods of fire. Me thinks.
He visited me the other day and looked at my paintings. And said, “Ah, your foreground has also started breaking up. Before you were doing that to the background. Hmmm. That one. I like that one the most. It has a strong, contemporary design. And that one has broken out in style.”
My mind reeled and I fell down to the floor. My brother understood contemporary art? What? How? Why?
Then it dawned on me. He had been exposed to my work for these many years and he had some of my paintings hanging in his home. My brother had grown. Evolved.
One thinks - “exception,” right?
Ah. One would.
Then my friends Vikas, Sangita and their young son came to visit me. Sangita wanted to look at all my paintings. Even those that are not yet mounted on inner frames. Basically canvas. She chose two. Two that would normally be picked by professional contemporary artists in Songzhuang. Wow! I thought. Sangita is also a numbers person. A Ph.D in Math. A left brain. Now very cognizant of contemporary art. What? How? Why?
Of course, this time I knew the answer.
Never would have imagined this. Engineers - I thought, knew how to apply formulas and nothing else. Wrong!! My close friends are now art cognoscenti. Really! Brought a smile to my face.
People evolve. Life evolves. Society evolves. My art work evolves.
Yes my work. It has changed after coming to the USA. They are now bolder and have sharper contrasts. Here is one that my brother remarked has broken out from my normal style. I think so too. Painting it was fun. Its not complete yet, but you can see it here. I think I will title it “Break out.”
Here is another one that went through several revisions. An evolution. Especially the background. The background sets the tone. The mood. This one has a bluish background that was light at first. Evolved into very dark. Then evolved back to being light. Cyclical evolution. Not yet finished. But mostly. Shows a jar and a creeper with fruits and leaves. You can see it here.
Here is a recent completed one titled - Good things come to those who wait. This one went through several changes and growth pains as well. Have been painting it for about a month. Now happy with it. You can see it in different room settings here. Perhaps a good addition to your art collection? Or something special to mark an important occasion? Yes.
My own exhibition list also continues to grow.
The exhibition at Houston's Bisong art gallery was wonderful. Got to meet the owner Carla for the first time. Very sweet lady. The day started rainy and cold. No one will come - I said to myself. But it changed. By afternoon the rain had stopped and by evening the crowds really picked up. About 1000 art lovers dropped by. A very wonderful experience. Here are some photos.
Also, came across a very interesting gallery / creative space. Called Black Ball Universe. Functions as a gallery, film studio and music studio. The energy can be felt. The people there are a bit crazy. And fun. There is life. You walk in and you feel alive. Had gone there to do some live painting. The curator Taikii liked my work and invited me to hang some of my paintings there. So if you are in the Oakland area, do drop by. Its a very special place and is my first gallery exhibition in the San Francisco bay area.
Happy Thanksgiving: Thanks to the wonderful collectors who have supported me. Thanks to the friends who have helped spread the word about my art. Its a bright, wonderful Thanksgiving day! Enjoy.
Hi Bro, lovely works and great exhibits! Quite exciting to see you enjoy the whole experience...!
Hi Tanu Sis, Thank you very much. When is your next exhibition?
Nov 15, 2013: Welcome to the Houston exhibition:
The exhibition in Bisong gallery is next weekend. All my preparations for it are done. Had to mail a box of paintings to Houston. Boxes of this size are difficult to find, so I had to make one from two boxes. Cutting cardboard with scissors is a wrestling match. Here is a photo of me struggling. The exhibition is part of the art crawl in Houston. If you are in the Houston area, please drop by and say hi. The exhibition is at the Bisong gallery.
Finished paintings: I finished two new paintings recently. The first one is titled “A celebration needs lotsa light”. This is a long painting and you can clearly see the influence of the recent Diwali festival. The painting was quite easy to produce and satisfying. You can see it here.
The second one is titled “Drinking Buddies Hunting Together”. Fish fascinate me - the different colors and shapes. This painting was also fairly easy to produce, although it did go through revisions. You can see it here.
Diwali Celebration: My friend Vikas invited me to his house for Diwali. I celebrated Diwali after 25 years. It was a lot of fun hanging out with my old friends. Ate a lot of food, drank a lot of beer and lit some firecrackers. Here are some photos:
Painting in downtown San Francisco: USA is the place to be for innovation and new ideas. As opposed to India or China, there is appreciation for innovation and for people who go out and get things done. There are numerous opportunities for self starters. I have gotten to know some artists, galleries and government agencies here. India and China are much more rigid when it comes to new ideas and there is almost no support from the local population or the government.
I have been painting in downtown San Francisco. It's a very interesting experience. I can see how people's reaction changes as the painting changes. Have also made some new friends. I am getting to know downtown SF in a way that is not possible normally. A very unique experience. Will post a photo of my setup in my next newsletter.
You can leave your comments here.
hi bro... think you should use a bigger scissors next time! and all the ver best for your exhibition!!!
Hi Tanushree Sis,
You are right. Or an exacto knife would be even better. Happy painting!
Nov 6, 2013: Special Offer
This is an exclusive. Not been sent by email as part of the newsletter. So if you landed here randomly, this may be a treat for you. Here is a recent painting that I am particularly satisfied with (happens very rarely). Offered at a low price of 200 usd (excludes shipping). Normal price 1000 usd. It measures 30"x20". Offer ends Nov 9 2:00 am GMT.
Fish are one of the most beautiful things. I went sea diving in Florida and the colors and varieties of fish just fascinated me. This one captures a certain feel that I am always trying to nail. It was painted in downtown San Francisco near Embarcedero transit station. Has received a lot of positive comments. Why am I doing this - Vodka mainly and to reward the rare fan :-)