Exhibitions

> YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP

Sameer Kulavoor

03 December - 07 January, 2021

The team at TARQ is delighted to present ‘YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP’ by Sameer Kulavoor. This is his second solo exhibition at TARQ. The show is made up of a series of paintings and drawings that are an expression of the artist's understanding of the tumultuous historical moment that we are currently experiencing. In this show, Kulavoor continues to be fascinated with Social Media, and looks deeply at ideas of the personal and political through the ubiquitous blue screen. While the artist has in some ways continued his unique observations of urban spaces – the landscape he is intimately familiar with – he now looks at these regular haunts through the lens of the growing pandemic. In this, he grows curiouser and curiouser as to how and why people adapt to the times by consuming content that is now readily available at your fingertips, and often times, leads to an information overload. In many ways, his works are a documentation of life not only in an urban metropolis but the restless mental state of living through a time of political turmoil. As a sign of the times, it is not uncommon to find the omnipresent cell phone in several works, serving to alienate, entertain and often, making the private, public. Kulavoor continues to question and dissect how humanity, as a whole, is adapting to and fighting against these unchartered territories seeking change. Click here to enter Online Viewing Room

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Sameer Kulavoor

Sameer Kulavoor (b.1983) is a visual artist living and working in Mumbai, India. His work lies at the intersection of art, graphic design & contemporary illustration and has taken the form of paintings, murals, books, zines, prints and objects. He is interested in why things look the way they do; constantly exploring and understanding the impact that time, culture, politics and socio-economic conditions have on our visible and invisible surroundings. In this age of visual overload, his work involves filtering, dissecting, documenting and de-familiarizing commonly seen subjects through the act of drawing, painting and design. 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 (flipbooks, 2013). He exhibited The Ghoda Cycle Project at WDC Helsinki in 2012 and in Mumbai in 2013 while also collaborating with Paul Smith on a series of Ghoda Cycle Tee-shirt designs which were released worldwide. He presented select sketchbook drawings from between 2012 and 2016 as large serigraphs at Artisans', Kalaghoda, in a show titled 'Please Have A Seat' (2016). 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, Delhi and Chennai. ‘A Man of the Crowd’ (2018) was Kulavoor’s first solo presentation at TARQ. His work, 'This is Not Still Life' was showcased at the Tarq Booth C03 at India Art Fair in Delhi (2020). In 2019, two of his works were showcased at the TARQ booth group show at India Art Fair. Also, his drawings and paintings were part of ‘The Shifting City’ - Mumbai pavilion of ‘Making Heimat - Arrival City’ at the Goethe Institut Max Mueller Bhavan curated by Kaiwan Mehta in 2019. Most recently, Sameer had his second solo exhibition, 'YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP at TARQ (2020). Kulavoor was the founder of Bombay Duck Designs which is presently directed by graphic artist + urdu/arabic typography specialist, Zeenat Kulavoor. Along with artist/designer Lokesh Karekar (Locopopo), Kulavoor also founded and curated six issues of 100%ZINE (currently on hiatus) – a visual arts magazine that discovers and showcases a wide range of visual art talent from India and abroad.

Press

  • Vogue- Art season is here—20 virtual and gallery shows across India you need to check out now

    Tarq is presenting a solo exhibition of Sameer Kulavoor titled You Are all Caught Up. Kulavoor's current work is made up of a series of paintings and drawings that are an expression of the artist's understanding of the tumultuous historical moment that we are currently experiencing. He continues to be fascinated with social media, and looks deeply at ideas of the personal and political through the ubiquitous blue screen.

    Vogue
    23 Nov 2020
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  • Mid-day- The canvas of our time

    Artist Sameer Kulavoor traverses the age of social media, political movements and the pandemic in his new solo exhibition opening tomorrow in a Colaba gallery The title, YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP (a message that pops up on Instagram after you've seen every post on your feed in the last 48 hours), he tells us, was a struggle to arrive at, but proved to be a good fit as it encompassed the personal and the po­litical, coupled with some ambiguity.

    Mid-day
    02 Dec 2020
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  • Mint Lounge- Sameer Kulavoor’s new show investigates the way we view the world through a screen

    One of the most striking works at the new show, ‘You Are All Caught Up’, at Tarq, Mumbai, is I Like it. What is It? People from all walks of life can be seen pointing their mobile phones to the ground to document something, which seems invisible to the naked eye. There is to be an urgency to their actions, as if the failure to capture the fleeting moment will have drastic repercussions. The work is part of artist Sameer Kulavoor’s ongoing investigation of the impact of social media and the merging of the personal and political through the ubiquitous blue screen.

    Mint Lounge
    02 Dec 2020
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  • AD- Mumbai: This exhibition at TARQ explores personal and political ideas through the lens of social media

    ‘You Are All Caught Up’—Sameer Kulavoor's second solo documents life in the urban metropolis as well as our restless mental state during a time of political turmoil

    Two years ago, Sameer Kulavoor’s first solo exhibition ‘A Man of the Crowd’ held at TARQ was the Mumbai-based visual artist’s unique observation of urban spaces and the people who inhabit those spaces. A lot has happened since then and his second solo show brings under the scanner, personal and political ideas. “We have seen protests, concerns around privacy, censorship, the worrisome problem of fake news and its effects, the media circus. Most works in the show revolve around these themes with social media and devices being the catalyst,” he says of his new exhibition, ‘You Are All Caught Up’.

    Impact on Art

    Like the rest of the world, it was a strange time for the artist, who felt disoriented during the initial few weeks of the lockdown. “News and social media updates were gloomy with different kinds of humanitarian crises unfolding. I was away from home and studio and did not have access to most of my work materials,” he recalls. Slowly adjusting to the new ways of working, Kulavoor decided to shield himself from news, moved out of Mumbai for a month with his partner and began to find some rhythm—work wise and otherwise. It was natural that the situation would have an impact on the artist’s work as well. “The pandemic made me focus less on figurative work and instead I turned my attention to dystopian and non-representational versions of man-made structures (architecture, infrastructure) and their functions. I returned to watercolours after a very long time—probably after more than a decade,” he shares.

    Architectural Digest
    03 Dec 2020
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  • Platform – YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP

    Platform Magazine
    07 Dec 2020
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  • Mint Lounge- A fine balance: a note from the editor

    Despite the struggle, entrepreneurship is an opportunity for expression, and the pandemic has provided a chance for some founders to do just that. They are among the most striking works in Mumbai artist Sameer Kulavoor’s impressive new show, You Are All Caught Up. 58 and I Like It. What Is It? remind us that we spend most of our lives glued to screens, consuming and being consumed by food, caffeine, work, news, information, rumour. The show examines the impact, both physical and psychological, of social media on our lives (read the review on mintlounge.in), but many of the canvases just as easily tell the story of our dependence on screens.

    Mint Lounge
    05 Dec 2020
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  • Art India Magazine: Lockdown Diaries- That Feeling of Disquiet

    60 days of brutal lockdown meant that our only access to the outside world was through our devices- which meant a constant barrage of news and updates fed to us by algorithms. COVID news from around the world was getting gloomier with the number of cases rising exponentially and with it, my anxiety. Particularly, this one night I felt breathless and sleepless- imagining that I had fever.

    Art India Magazine
    12 Dec 2020
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  • Domus- Art and Politics. Locked. Unlocked

    The recent body of work by graphic designer and artist Sameer Kulavoor currently on show at the Mumbai-based gallery Tarq is a fitting reflection on the last one year we have had. The lockdown following the Covid-19 pandemic has been bookended between two crucial protests – the student protests against the NRC and CAA bills that began in December 2019 and the protest by framers going on just now against bills by the central government again. What has life – the life of the individual and the public life meant for all of us, or anyone of us in this one year. This one year has made us realise how frivolous we are in certain ways as a civilization and a society, and how incapable and undeveloped we are as professional societies be it medicine, governance, or politics.

    Domus Magazine
    15 Dec 2020
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  • Mumbai Mirror- Unwind: A culture vulture

    This is artist Sameer Kulavoor’s second solo exhibition at Tarq. The show comprises a series of paintings and drawings that are an expression of the artist's understanding of life during a pandemic. These works also highlight Kulavoor’s fascination with social media, exploring how and why people adapt to the times by consuming content — readily available at one’s fingertips which often leads to an information overload.

    Mumbai Mirror
    15 Dec 2020
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  • The Odd One- Societal Structures

    Sameer Kulavoor is back at TARQ with his latest exhibition “You Are All Caught Up” where he displays his newest pieces created before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. Buildings are transformed into geometric shapes. These shapes are also used to represent our obsession with technology or the invisible presence of social media in our lives. “It was also the only way left to connect while in isolation” says Kulavoor and is a thread of commonality between the themes he has drawn on.

    The Odd One
    16 Dec 2020
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  • Art dose Podcast with Sameer Kulavoor

    Mumbai based artist Sameer Kulavoor’s solo show ‘YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP’ opened last week at Tarq. The series of paintings and drawings in the show delve deeper and explore our use of social media in these extraordinary times. Sameer has used the personal and the political to express what he feels. In some of the other works in the exhibition, he has continued his exploration of the urban landscape around him in the changed scenario of the pandemic. We caught up with him to know more.

    Art dose India
    15 Dec 2020
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  • AD – The MOOD

    IN BETWEEN SETTING UP HIS ONGOING SHOW AT TARQ, THE VISUAL ARTIST PUTS TOGETHER A MOOD BOARD OF THE OBJECTS THAT INSPIRE HIM

    Architectural Digest
    30 Dec 2020
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  • Indian Express- How boredom can make us do creative things

    The pandemic revealed what researchers have long known — ennui could be the gateway to re-engaging with the world

    Kulavoor’s figure, on the other hand, appears opiated, preferring to do anything not to “think”. It’s also one of the key reasons why people fear getting bored. Who knows what questions, what memories the mind will bring to the surface in a quiet moment? The pandemic, for instance, has been a live lab for researchers, with latest studies showing the link between emotional trauma and boredom, and how highly boredom-prone people are more likely to endorse that Covid-19 is a hoax. It’s why the idea that boredom can be a source of creativity is a tricky one. Eastwood, founder of Boredom Lab in Toronto, says that the link between boredom and creativity is indirect, accomplished if we allow for constructive mind wandering. He explains that when bored, we disengage from the world, and if we can tolerate the discomfort of boredom long enough to turn inward and reflect on who we are and how we want to express ourselves in the world, then this might allow us to form new ideas for how we can re-engage with the world.

    The Indian Express
    03 Jan 2021
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  • Hindustan Times- Humour: A hazy shade of winter

    Art Escape: On a recent drive into Colaba, I treated myself to a twin art escape, all the more exciting for it being a truant Tuesday. Sameer Kulavoor’s You Are all Caught Up at the Tarq gallery in Apollo Bunder was worth the advance booking – here’s an artist whose colourful canvases, in the grand tradition of unfettered art, neither wear masks nor use sanitiser. Having had my fill of the poetry and protest of his pandemic-inspired – necessitated? – art, I lost myself in Chirodeep Chaudhuri’s Seeing Time: Public Clocks of Bombay at Project 88 gallery. From a 1700s clock in the naval dockyard, to a late 19th century still ticking in the first quadrangle of my alma mater, St. Xavier’s College, the black-and-white photo exhibition was part history lesson, part time travel. Long live art galleries and the many freedoms they foster.

    Hindustan Times
    03 Jan 2021
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  • It’s Nice That – Sameer Kulavoor’s paintings depict large-scale, bustling metropolises

    The Mumbai-based artist talks us through his geometric works, rooted on the grounds of politics and socio-economic experiences. The portfolio of Mumbai-based artist Sameer Kulavoor is replete with large-scale, geometric metropolises – the type of work that gives a gentle nod to Picasso’s cubism for the ways in which it contrasts reality with painting. Within these pieces, you’ll find buildings, city streets and the people that occupy them composed in a myriad of mediums, all of which explore the impact of time, culture, politics and socio-economic conditions on our surroundings.

    It's Nice That
    19 Jan 2021
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