JA/PJ 63


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JOGI ART.ARTIST IS PRAKASH JOGI. The art of the Jogi family is an outcome of a fortuitous encounter in the 1980s of Ganesh Jogi and his wife Teju with the renowned artist and anthropologist Haku Shah. Ganesh and Teju used to earn their living by singing devotional songs and ballads as they went around their village in Rajasthan in exchange for food, clothes and money. But changing times and continued hardship forced them to work in Ahmedabad as day labourers, until Haku Shah, the great champion of folk and village arts, encouraged Ganesh to draw. Setting pen to paper and forging a fresh new narrative style, Ganesh was soon joined by Teju, and eventually their six children in what soon became a family tradition. Their drawings on paper with a ballpoint pen employ a deceptively simple, childlike register of free flowing lines enclosing flattened, two-dimensional forms that are intricately filled with dots and individual patterns. If this folkish naïveté is aesthetically pleasing, it also serves as a useful tool to reflect upon the varied hues of their lived experience, between the village and the city, between tradition and modernity, and articulate – as Teju behan has – a vision for women’s freedom in a oppressively gendered society. Being unschooled in any image-making tradition had the inadvertent advantage of leaving ample room for creativity, for the intuitive play of form and pattern, and for innovating more and more devices for telling stories. Music moreover remains closely intertwined with the artists’ pictorial practice, inspiring, inhabiting and bringing the drawings and paintings into being. It is time such artists, normally categorised outside the mainstream of contemporary art, get their due recognition, not as lesser equals but as full-fledged practitioners in their own right.

Style : Jogi art

Size : 22 x 14


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