Friday, November 28, 2008

Culture Palette

A Interview with Bhupen Hazarika

Samyabrata Ray Goswami
Apart from music, which art forms attract you most?

Modern art. It has a primitive past. Lines and colours depicted thoughts and feelings much before it acquired the garb of form. Before it evolves into a form or tune, the primal sounds that make a melody, appeal to me. Its appeal is universal; it does not require the crutch of language, and has its own formless grammer. So does modern art. That’s why it attracts me.

Who is your favourite artist?
Picasso. But I am a great admirer of MF Husain as well. They belong to different schools of art, but what is common to them is that their strokes and their lines sing. As a musician I paint emotions, while their paintings make melody. The eternal struggle depicted in Picasso’s paintings, especially those from his Blue Period, haunt me. ‘The Tragedy’, ‘The Blue Nude’, ‘The Woman’, ‘Child by the Sea’ and ‘Le Celestina’ are some of my favourites.

Which of Husain’s works do you like?
His ‘Saraswati’, which drew the ire of many. I think it best represents the artist in him. It’s a symbol of religious rebellion, at the same time, a salute to all that Saraswati symbolises. A very courageous work.

Are you a collector?
Of art? No. I can’t afford it. I just appreciate it. But I like collecting the handwritings of famous people. My most treasured ones are of Somerset Maugham and Picasso. I met Picasso as a student. He scribbled a note on a paper napkin wishing me success. I will never forget the moment. I have the handwritings of almost all our former presidents, but my favourite is that of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s.

Do you watch movies?
Yes. My favourite is The Bicycle Thief. The last Indian movie that held me spellbound was Black.

What about theatre?
I love theatre. Naseeruddin Shah is my favourite theatre artiste. My favourite American play is Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Among Indian playwrights, Vijay Tendulkar is my favourite. I also like Balraj Sahani’s productions for the Indian People’s Theatre Association
Source : Tehelka.com , 30 July 2005