PablO Barth OlOMeW (b.1955)
Art Chennai 2012 will show a selection of work from Outside-In, a collection of 70 black-and-white photographs shot by renowned photographer Pablo Bartholomew in the 70s and 80s, across the three cities of Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta during his youth. Outside-In was first shown at Les Rencontres D’Arles, a Festival of Photography in France in 2007 after which, in 2008, it traveled to the National Museum, New Delhi and the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Bodhi Art, New York, and in 2008 to Bodhi Berlin, 2009 and the Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata, 2010.
Representing his earliest documentary photography, these prints remain as apropos today as they were then. There is an acute absence of documentation of changing urban India in these two decades, particularly Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, the three cities referenced in the title. This body of photographsserves as a chronicle of the cities’ shifting nature, character and function. As testimony to the enduring value of his images, these records of urban life have immediacy, an ability to make the “past” contemporary to the viewer. Primarily, however, these photographs are witness to the flux in the social and cultural landscape at that point; through the uniquely personal filter of images of the artist’s self-portraits, friends, family and social milieu. In this exhibition, Pablo Bartholomew’s is the floating, nomadic world of his teens, of psychedelic lifestyles and of his presence within what he refers to as “the first free-thinking generation after Independence” – a world he had personal exposure to as the son of Richard Bartholomew,preeminent art critic, curator, poet and photographer. These prints are notes from his diary enacting personal dialogs, which inadvertently connect to a universal, cross-generational ethos. Pablo Bartholomew is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, he is a self-taught, independent Indian photographer. He was awarded the first prize by World Press Photo in 1975 for his series on morphine addicts. In 1984 he won the World Press Photo “Picture of the Year” award for his iconic image of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. As a photojournalist he documented societies in conflict and transition for over 20 years. His work has been featured in magazines like New York Times, Time, Life, Newsweek, Business Week, National Geographic, Geo, Der Spiegel, Figaro Magazine, Paris Match, Telegraph, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian, and Observer Magazine.
VARUN GUPTA (b. 1982)
Born in Calcutta to a family of travellers, Varun was exposed to rock-climbing, trekking and the towering beauty of the Himalayas at a very young age. As a natural extension of his travels, at age eight he took to the camera to document what he saw. A few hundred rolls of film later, his journey continued through a Bachelor of Arts degree from College of Wooster in Ohio, a job as an animator in New York, and a diploma in Photography from Light & Life Academy in Ooty. Based out of Chennai, he works as a freelance professional photographer undertaking assignments in architecture, portraiture, fashion and advertising. His hunger for making images remains a constant in his life, blurring the lines between work and play. His personal work, a reflection of his nomadic existence, evolves with steady progress in its artistic expression. Galleries in Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, New
Delhi and Pondicherry have shown his photographs. In Search of Solitude, his third body of work to be exhibited is the product of a four-year quest to reconcile his urban self and the man he becomes when engulfed by nature.