G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Diamond Jubilee of S D Phadnis's Spell- Mohini

George Orwell:

"In reality there is no kind of evidence or argument by which one can show that Shakespeare, or any other writer, is 'good' ... Ultimately there is no test of literary merit except survival, which is itself an index to majority opinion."

It is hard to believe that we are celebrating diamond jubilee of 86-year old S D Phadnis (शि. द. फडणीस) designed covers of Diwali number of visionary Anant Antarkar (अनंत अंतरकर) founded Marathi magazine Mohini (मोहिनी).

cover of Mohini Diwali 2011 (The posting of this art is for scholarly and educational purposes. Please visit http://www.sdphadnis.com/)

He first did it in year 1952 and he has done it every year since!

Norman Rockwell, whose influence I clearly see on Phadnis's art, during his 50-year career with The Saturday Evening Post, painted more than 300 covers.

Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे), SDP's close friend, has done every cover of Marathi magazine Lalit's (ललित) Diwali number since 1964.

Sarwate writes on characteristics of SDP's art in 1990:

"जरुर तेवढाच तपशील, चित्रातून म्हणायच आहे ते पाहिल्या बरोबर, बिनचूकपणे पाहणार्याच्या ध्यानात येईल अशी चित्रातील मांडणी आणि डोळ्यास आल्हाद देईल अशी रंगरचना"

(Only necessary details, composition of the drawing done in a manner one grasps accurately what is indended to be convyed as soon as one sees it and colour composition that pleases the eye")

Specifically on Mohini covers by SDP, Sarwate wrote in 1970:

"रंग हे फङणीसांच्या चित्रांच एक महत्वाचं अंग आहे हे त्यांची 'मोहिनी'वरील चित्रं पाहणार्याच्या सहज लक्षात येईल. आल्हाददायक रंगसंगती त्यांच्या चित्रांना स्वप्नमय, तरल स्वरुप देण्यास फार मोठी मदत करतात."

(Colour is an important component of his pictures is pretty obvious to those who look at his pictures on the covers of 'Mohini'. Pleasing colour compositions help big give his pictures dreamlike, subtle quality.)

This is how Sarwate draws his friend at work:

['Sahapravasee' (सहप्रवासी), 2005]

Notice how well Sarwate has captured the above qualities of Shi Da's drawings in picture-in-picture.

See my previous post on Shi Da here.

George Orwell has also said: "If a man cannot enjoy the return of spring, why should he be happy in a labour-saving Utopia?… I think that by retaining one’s childhood love of such things as trees, fishes, butterflies and…toads, one makes a peaceful and decent future a little more probable."

To Orwell's list of 'trees, fishes, butterflies and…toads', I would add Shi Da Phadnis's pictures.

I still love them as much as I first saw them as a kid. If 'a peaceful and decent future' materialises, it will be a bonus!

And I hope I will continue to enjoy the sight of anyone combing his/her hair looking into a scooter's mirror and not just of that couple with sunny smiles from Mohini Diwali 2011's cover.

2 comments:

Suneel123 said...

While browsing your website (i.e. two separate posts on SD) and official Website of Shree Da, I noticed that it started in 1951 when the First humourous cover appeared on “Huns” magazine followed with a First humourous cover on a Diwali Special issue of Mohini in 1952.
Could you please let me know whether the cover pages then were in colour ? If not when was the first coloured cover page with captionless Cartoons was printed. (As far as my memory goes the cover pages of Marathi Magazines in 1958(When i was 7 years old) were in colour and that’s what I have informed my brother who had this query while discussing your Cartoons on FaceBook.His email_id is shantanu.karve@gmail.com ). My emai_id is suneelkarve@gmail.com. I have also sent email to shree Da asking this query today.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Shantanu and Suneel for your keen interest. I wish there were more such passionate readers.

To your query, the answer is: I don't know. If I know about it, I will let you know.

best,