For The Love Of Art – K George John’s collection

The Kerala folklore Museum is an amazing reflection of history, art, traditions and culture 

Art is a beautiful form of expression – it can be feelings, thoughts, perceptions or just the essence of a fleeting moment. Though it has been engraved across all cultures in their history, tradition and architecture, very often, these priceless masterpieces are taken for granted. RITZ explores exquisite collections of an art enthusiast from Kochi for whom art is a passion and though collecting art is an expensive hobby, he continues to nurture it for the sheer love of art!

Words: Riya Sonny Datson

Photography: Arun A Menon

“I don’t see art as a commodity, but as something that I treasure, and enjoy seeing on my wall. It gives me happiness day after day. For the same reason, I find it impossible to part with any of my collections,” says K George John. His home, which is truly one of a kind, has been designed on the lines of an art gallery. Spread across 12,000 square feet, his water front bungalow at Edakochi is a beautiful medley of all styles of paintings. Having retired as the Chairman and MD of TBWA, his passion for art started over three decades ago. He has travelled across India and it has always been a passion for him to visit top galleries to collect paintings that appealed to him.  He has works of artists like C M Karunakaran, Krishen Khanna, Rabin Mondal, Senathipathi, Karmarkar, Paritosh Sen, Hatarki, Shyamal Ghosh, Kaladharan, Sadanandan and Namboothiri to name a few. His home collection has to its credit over 60 Paintings, of which every piece is unique, and is the original work of renowned artists.

  • First outing with Art: An Oil pastel of ‘Christ on the Cross’ from Chaitram Art Gallery, Kochi.
  • Art Trigger: The signature is very important and of course, the artwork should appeal to me!
  • An artist I admire: T Kaladharan
  • Treasured Possession: Mural painting of the ‘White Stallion’ by Sadanandan, monotone sketches by Namboothiri and the works of Rabin Mondal and C M Karunakaran
  • A Commissioned Artwork: A large art work by Namboothiri based on the famous Malayalam song, “Ambalakulangara Kulikkan chennapol ayilathey pennungal kaliyakki…”
  • An Impulsive Buy: Mural Art of ‘Krishna and Radha’ by Sadanandan
  • Weakness: Colorful Figuratives
  • On the Wish-list: Works of Krishen Khanna, Satish Gujral, Padamsee and Laxma Goud