15 Mar 2018 - 26 Apr 2018
A Man of the Crowd is Sameer Kulavoor’s first solo exhibition at TARQ. The show, which gets its title from a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, consists of a body of work that underscores the artist’s broad practice which brings together art and design. Kulavoor’s unique observations of urban spaces – a landscape he is intimately familiar with – and his depictions of the diverse characters that inhabit these spaces, define the visual vocabulary of this show.
For this body of work, created over the span of a year, Kulavoor took a step away from his regular practice as a graphic artist and illustrator, choosing instead, to embrace paint on canvas. He also created a series of terracotta figurines that serve as three dimensional extensions of the paintings. While the contemporary work of Sudhir Patwardhan and the more traditional compositional strategies of Mughal miniatures served as reference points, this series is a definitive testament to Kulavoor’s sensitive observation of the idiosyncrasies of a metropolis and the myriad characters that inhabit it. The flat, graphic, gray, surfaces of Kulavoor’s canvases come alive with faceless human figures, rendered in contrasting, eye-popping fluorescent hues. These characters appear to be ubiquitous yet carry fascinating personal narratives. These delightful compositions of contemporary archetypes, from the genial “aunty” to the urban hipster, underscore Kulavoor’s fondness for and celebration of cities and their multi-layered identities.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue essay penned by researcher, academic and architect Dr. Kaiwan Mehta.
Sameer Kulavoor’s (b.1983) practice lies at the intersection of graphic design, illustration and art. He has been creating a personal body of work, and self-publishing art books and zines that take a look at characteristic mannerisms and archetypal facets of urban surroundings, design and culture. Some of the zines he has produced include Sidewalks & Coffeeshops ( 2009), Zeroxwallah Zine (2011), The Ghoda Cycle Project (poster-book, 2012), Blued (book/zine , 2013) and Oh Flip (flipbook, 2013).
Kulavoor’s works were most recently exhibited in a show titled Please Have A Seat at Artisan’s gallery in Mumbai (2016). He exhibited The Ghoda Cycle Project at WDC Helsinki in 2012 and in Mumbai in 2013 while also collaboratingwith Paul Smith on a series of Ghoda Cycle Tee-shirt designs that were released worldwide. Most recently, he has been working on a number of large scale public art projects and paintings which are on view in Auckland (New Zealand), Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. A Man of the Crowd is Kulavoor’s first solo exhibition at TARQ.
Kulvoor is the founder of Bombay Duck Designs and co-founder and co-curator of 100%ZINE – a visual arts magazine that discovers and showcases a wide range of visual art talent from India and abroad.
He currently lives and works in Mumbai.