Men in uniform

Oct 09, 2012, 07:26 IST | Swapnal Tilekar

The bandwallas with their regal uniform attract attention but rarely fetch them respect. Artist Chandramohan Kulkarni puts the spotlight on these artistes

Inspired by the men in uniform, artist Chandramohan Kulkarni created the paintings for his latest exhibition. Titled Bandwallah, it will be inaugural exhibition at the newly-opened Art2Day Gallery at Hyatt Regency.

The exhibition is inspired by the artist’s fascination for bandwallahs and their day-to-day activities. The artist observed these uniform wearers closely and developed an interest in the life of these performers. Kulkarni has used several bright colours in his works and they depict the sense of alienation and the somewhat dismal life of these bandwallahs which becomes a metaphor for human life itself.

The artist experienced the tension and conflict between human pretenses and the stark reality through the images of these bandwallahs.

Talking about the exhibition, the artist says, “I grew up watching these people. I always had some curiosity about them in my mind. Even now, while traveling from my home to the studio, I observed 4-5 wedding halls where they play their bands. I was always bowled over by the kind of life they lead. Hence, I decided to recreate it on canvas and did so in the span of a year.”

Kulkarni added that the bright and shiny uniform, hats and instruments attracted him to the bandwallas.

“These are part of their exterior appearance but I wanted to show their struggle and their emotions through my work. I often think about how less they earn and how they lead an ordinary life but don’t let go their passion for music. My art showcases the pathetic life these bandwallahs lead and how they don’t get the prestige due to their uniform,” he concludes.

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