Following an artist

Screening

Thought-provoking: Dignitaries interacting with the audience after the screening.The documentary allowed the audience a detailed view into the trials of an artist, the obstacles he faced on his journey to being famous as well as his lifestyle and attitude towards painting.

Quite a large gathering assembled at the Bangalore International Centre to find out more about Vasudev.Large parts of the documentary were narrated by S G Vasudev himself.

It also included conversations with some of his peers, such as K V Haridasan and Gulam Sheikh, both artists as well; Arundhati Nag, with whom Vasudev worked during the inauguration of the Ranga Shankara theatre; as well as several other notables of the painting, sculpture and musical worlds.

The documentary began with some snippets of Vasudev’s early life. He described how being an only son, his parents always expected him to become a doctor, engineer or lawyer — a dream that was shattered considering his consistently sub-standard marks.
When he decided to become an artist, he faced all manner of obstacles.

The pay was extremely low and he was forced to take an allowance from his father
during his initial months in the career.

However, he soon applied for and received a national scholarship, after which he never touched his father’s money again.

The documentary also touched on the topic of Cholamandal, an artist community designed by Vasudev and a few of his peers. It was also around this time that he met Arnawaz, his first wife.

He described her as his biggest critic, and a huge inspiration for his work. He married her despite some objections from their parents (he was a Kannadiga whereas she was a Parsi), and they lived together in a cottage in Choramandal.

They had a son, but soon after she was diagnosed with cancer, and died about seven years post their marriage.Years later, Vasudev met Ammu Joseph, a journalist, whom he married and has lived with happily since.

In a brief cameo, Ammu informed the audience of the trust and maturity of their
relationship.

“Since we met when we were older and more settled, the issue of the past was never a problem for us,” she said.

After this, the focus of the documentary shifted to Vasudev’s work. He has created art in different mediums, including on canvas, copper, wood and even ceramic.

He described how he collaborated extensively with craftsmen and artisans to get a better understanding of the medium.

The end results — engraved copper sheets, painted ceramic mugs and large paintings
of vivid, dynamic subjects – are a treat to the eye.

This was followed by a discussion on the documentary conducted by Vasudev; Chetan Shah, who directed the documentary; Lata Mani, who handled the research and interviews;
and Navroze Contractor, who shot it.

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