Mundane to magical

Mundane to magical
If you’re having a random conversation with a friend and tell them that you think the work of Shivaraju is wonderful, they will probably scratch their head and wonder who you are talking about. But if you correct your sentence and say ‘Cop Shiva’ instead, they will nod their heads and agree with you.

Having found his calling in photography a few years back, Shiva is showcasing his latest solo show ‘Urban Ecstasy’ on January 6, 6.30 pm, at Gallery Sumukha. He chats with Anila Kurian about his work and what inspires him to capture different moments in the city.

Do you enjoy being called Cop Shiva?
It’s become my artiste name; not many know my real name. I am used to it and it puts a smile on my face when people call me otherwise.

Tell us about your latest showcase.
The city is labelled as the garden city and the IT hub. But it is no longer a garden city; all I see are buildings after buildings. But we are still very culturally strong and there is always some interesting festival going on in the city. Over a period of time, I have collected moments from 28 festivals that took place in the city. The showcase is a representation of that and to remind people to pause for a moment and enjoy life.

Which is your favourite picture from the series? 
It’s a picture I shot at one of the oldest wrestling places in the city. It is a 100-year-old practice where about 150 people gather to celebrate the festival. The picture is of two boys dressed as hanuman and the drama that happens behind them. You have to see it know what I am talking about.

Any other photo series you’re working on?
Oh, yes! I have a quite a few of them that I have been working on and I’m collecting as many pictures as I can for them. I haven’t started a new one yet; I plan to finish the pending ones before doing that. One of the series has portraits of immigrants in front of murals.  I hope to display them soon.

Your aim for the year? 
I’ve been a part of this city for almost two decades now and it has changed a lot. I want to capture the change and what is left.

How is your work different from the other photographers in the city?
My work includes a series of intimate portraits of urban migrants, people of alternative lifestyle, street performers and others living in the hinterland of urban and rural conflict. The projects and the series of photographs I capture make the difference. My pictures represent the spirit of our times.
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