Starting tomorrow, portraits and landscapes created by typewriter artist Uday Talwalkar will be on display in Mumbai
Did you ever wonder that the emoticons you use so ubiquitously have their origins in a kind of art that dates back to the nineteenth century? This for instance, is an example of the basic ASCII art, an offspring of typewriter art that uses basic keys and elements of the keyboard to create portraits or landscapes.
The said art demands unending grit and imagination. And Uday Mahadeo Talawalkar has spent 25 years mastering this art, joining only a few remaining practitioners of this art in the world. His work will be part of an exhibition for the first time in the country next week. His first work that found space in a newspaper was of Smita Patil in 1989. A year later, he typed a 22 ft x 13 ft portrait of Lata Mangeshkar, which he had spent 236 hours churning out. The portrait got entry into the Book of Alternative Records in London and the India Book of Records. Over the years, Sunil Gavaskar, Dalai Lama, Sachin Tendulkar, Baba Ramdev and many other famous personalities have become a part of his oeuvre.
His interest towards this art form began with a television show on Doordarshan in 1988. “I saw a programme on typewriter art and loved the idea. Soon, I started trying it on my own.” In the journey from then to now, the artist has a definitive list of adjectives inseparable from this art. “You need patience, perseverance, concentration and accuracy to draw these portraits,” he says and adds that a single error may spoil the portrait. “These are unique portraits. One portrait usually takes around 12 hours to make. I work on it in shifts of two hours. Once I create one, I cannot replicate it. Neither can anyone else,” he says. His work also includes Russian icons likes Lenin, Stalin and Alexander Pushkin, which he prepared during his professional stint in Moscow from 1995 to 2000.
From: April 12, 11 am to 7 pm
At: Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Bajaj Bhavan, Nariman Point.