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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

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.