Thursday, January 18, 2018

One Mile Stand

Once again they met today. Few hundred meters from the crossroads. The area was abuzz with morning activities as usual. He was ahead of her but when they looked at each other the earth seemingly stopped rotating for a moment.

He took his Cartier shades off and she removed her Gucci. The eyes did all the talking as the RJ played a romantic song on the local station.

Silently she said, “I will follow you wherever you go
He pleaded “Please do not let anyone come in between us

Selena Gomez went on …
I've been set free
I am hypnotized by your destiny
You are magical, lyrical, beautiful
You are...
And I want you to know, baby

They went up to the traffic lights and stopped again both eyes fixated. Then the signal went green.
But he was a bit too fast and she could hardly keep up with the speed. Distance grew between them and some other car came to fill the growing space between their cars.

He went straight ahead while she took a right turn. At the next signal he felt lonely as her eyes were no longer present in his rear view mirror. Eyes became moist and he put back the shades ….

The one mile stand has sadly come to an end..... 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Stand up comedy

Ron was happy to be back in his city during the season of festivities. As he navigated through the now infamous Traffic Jam, old memories started to show up at every turns.
It was not too long ago that he was that angry young man who at times felt like a rebel without a cause. He was going through a difficult time trying to keep up with the whims and fancies of the rebel within him and that upset him even more.
Usually fellow students avoid such characters, more due to stern instructions from doting parents than by choice of their own. But Ron had a different shade too, he had the capability to bring comic relief to serious situations. In addition to being annoying, he could recite, sing and pull out a fast one on almost anyone. The folks knew he would flip a sad moment into a celebration even before the tallest hand could make a trip around the face of the clock.
Path leading to a career of choice was not one adorned with rose. On the contrary it was a challenge. Once at the dinner table, he mentioned matter-of-factly that he would like to be a stand-up comedian. Dad’s reaction was quick with the signature sarcasm,
“Splendid idea! I shall definitely cherish being called the joker’s father”. No one came to his rescue nor was in a mood to listen to his argument.
Next morning he took it up with Ann hoping to find support or sympathy. “Complete your engineering and then pursue stand-up comedy.” His girlfriend promised “Baby! No matter where I would be, I shall pack my suitcase and come running to attend your first show. I am aware that Jerry Seinfeld had made it big but it takes many a failures to get one Jerry.”
The car stopped at the signal and he contemplated how difficult it was to motivate a person who was as disillusioned as him. He remembered the words of his favorite teacher. “Ronbir”, she had once said “get good enough with anything and someone will pay you to do it”.
He looked up that the billboard right in front of him and said… “How true she was!”

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Monday, November 20, 2017

Handwriting Fun Project

We form a cusp generation, as we started treading the cyber path after we graduated from a teenager. Not too late, but it was not too early either.
Long distance calls were exorbitantly expensive and the known way of communication was through letters. Phones were meant to be used in case of emergency or to deliver short messages like … “I reached hostel safely.”
Message was not the only interesting aspect of letters, it was the entire Jing bang. The pen pals, the paper, ink color, handwriting and not to forget the precious little things on the cover… the coveted postage stamps. I enjoyed every aspect of this process and it’s not only stamps I collected, I also treasured many a letter.
An artist friend managed to remain untouched by computers creating an opportunity to communicate through lengthy personal letters. Not frequent, but immensely satisfactory feeling, nevertheless. An email announcing the receipt of my letter last year brought down the last bastion of letter writing.
On a train to London in December, we witnessed travelers writing festive cards like our olden times. Like London city, many traditions remained preserved, I explained to my daughter.
We decided to send our personalized cards around the world. A first time experience for our daughter to buy stamps, affix those before dropping them off.

No one chose to send back a card. But undeterred, I shall trying again to revive this old tradition. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Rothko – what makes the art market tick

A painting sold for a stupendous price of $72.84 million at an auction at the Sotheby, New York on May 16, 2007. I was introduced to this bit of information while watching an old Documentary.  We generally accept that art can be very expensive but this work by Rothko baffled me completely.

Name of the Artwork: White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)
Dimensions: 6’- 9” X 4’ – 8”
Painted in: 1950
Style: Color field – Abstract Expressionism
Name of Artist: Mark Rothko (Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz) An American painter of Russian Jewish descent. 25 September 1903 to 25 February 1970.

I gathered these information but miserably failed to equate the product with its price tag and decided to dig deeper.

Expressionism was an artistic movement of the mid-twentieth century where the artists were at the liberty to convey attitudes and emotions through nontraditional and usually non representation means (Merriam Webster). Tate org further elaborates that this new forms of abstract art was developed by American painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning during the 1940s & 1950s. It is often characterized by gestural brush-strokes or mark-making and the impression of spontaneity. They were inspired by the surrealist idea that art should come from the unconscious mind and by the automatism of artist. 

They were broadly classified into two groups:

Action painter – they attacked their canvases with expressive brush strokes. (Jackson Pollock & Willem Kooning.)

Color field painters – filled their canvases with large areas of a single color. (Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman & Clyfford Still)

Now I have a description for our painting. A "color field abstract expressionism" with “superposed color bands of uneven size with blurry edges”.

But I still had my puzzle unresolved. After more deliberation, I found an answer that was somewhat acceptable. 

“Value is not the only link to quality” and there are other factors that influences the value.

In this market where high value art are traded, name of its former owner is as important as the artist and his/her piece of work. The provenance is important.

This particular work of art has been glamorized by its provenance. It was part of the collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller. Part of one of the most powerful family if not the most powerful family in the history of the United States.

The bottom line therefore is "billionaires love to own property of fellow billionaires".

Since then, there were two more similar works by Rothko sold in auctions. Both could be attributed to the "color field - Abstract Expressionism" school.

Orange, Red, Yellow
Sold at Christie on 8 May 2012 for $ 86.88 million
Painting No 1 (Royal Red and Blue)
Sold at Sotheby on November 2012 for $ 75.1 million

 All images has been downloaded from Wikipedia. In case your are interested to glance at the list of Most Expensive Paintings please click the link.