Pooh - Pablo Bartholomew

Went to the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) for this fabulous exhibition titled “The Painted Photograph: Painted, Poised and of the Moment”. I have to thank my good pal Arun for telling me about this exhibition, otherwise I might have missed an opportunity to see some great pictures. The ground floor displayed photographs by Cartier-Bresson. This floor had some striking photographs by Cartier-Bresson which were selected by a host of writers. My personal favorites include a picture of women in Kashmir and a shot of Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. In the picture Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie look very depressed, though in reality the two of them are quite happy and successful. Goes to show how appearances can be deceptive I guess. Though the one picture of his that stuck in mind was the very Star Trekish Chinese eunuch from the last days of the Chinese courts. That chap could definitely give Spock a run for his pointy ears.

The top two floors were quite disappointing actually, with pictures of Nony Singh’s children and very narcissistic self portraits by Umrao Singh Sher-gil. But then the first floor more than made up for it.

The first floor featured the work of Pablo Bartholomew , one of India’s famous photo journalists. The exhibit titled “Outside In – A Tale of Three Cities“, features a very voyeuristic view into his life in Mumbai and Delhi in the 70’s and 80’s. The photographs capture the mood and the style of the era very nicely. His subjects range from close friends to mundane objects of daily life. Included are surreal pictures of streets in Delhi , the coastline of Mumbai, taxi’s, college rock shows etc. From smoke laden rooms to guys and gals dancing to 70’s music in bell bottoms, he captures it all in gorgeous and vivid black and white film.

Of course the subject of some his pictures is the hauntingly beautiful Pooh. For some reason, the manner in which he has captured her on film simply increases her allure, makes her something of an enigmatic beauty.

Looking at his pictures, I kind of realized that while fashions and styles might have changed along with our cityscapes, I guess to a large extent we are still quite the same underneath. Sure our topics of discussion, places that we meet up at might be different, but when we take all that away, what remains is the same urge to belong – Man the social animal.

For those of you who want to catch the exhibition, it will be on till the 26th of March from 11:00 am- 6:00 pm (Monday’s closed) at the NGMA (opp. the Museum).

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One Comment

  1. { enygmatic } » Blog Archive » Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi says:

    […] The movie is quite fascinating with it’s portrayal of India in the late 60’s and early 70’s and is backed by some really first rate acting. Shiney Ahuja as Vikram steals the show, while Chitrangada Singh is enchantingly beautiful as Geeta. Kay Kay Menon too delivers as Siddharth. Interestingly there is one minor character called Pablo, who is a photographer in the movie. I wonder if it’s the same Pablo, who’s exhibition I went to recently. […]