Creative Strokes – Bose Krishnamachari
To him, life itself is art and he’s categoric in stating that he doesn’t separate his way of living from art. One day you might see Bose Krishnamachari dressed in paint splattered trousers, a vibrant hued shirt sporting every fathomable shade on the colour wheel, neon rimmed glasses and bright red shoes. The next time he might be dressed down in denims and a white shirt with simple blue high-tops. In fact his collection of glasses and shoes is so unique, their distinctive style and colour reflect the personality and work of the genteel artist perfectly.
RITZ meets the Malayalee born, Mumbai bred artist par excellence who has redefined the scope and reach of art by spearheading the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and redefined the parameters of art though his larger than life works
“From chaos we make order and I have always used my canvas, or whichever medium of art I am working with, to interpret my perceptions of all that is happening around me,” The 53-year-old artist, sometimes philosopher and armchair thinker, activist and visionary considers his art to be an amalgamation of his viewpoints of his creative practices. He was and never has been one to follow trends or stick to traditions. Everything about his work and style is individualistic beyond comparison. Be it the size of his canvasses – 15 feet by 8 feet, where a conventional artist would choose a more demur size keeping in mind the wall it would eventually grace – or the unconventional mediums that he chooses to express his creativity, Bose has been different in all that he does. His affable, mild tempered and vibrant manner just add more layers to his already complex personality, thereby adding to the enigmatic appeal of his distinctiveness.
“For an artist, any new medium opens up many challenges and possibilities. Handling them, using one’s aesthetic intellect is very important. I would say that I am intelligent enough to handle these new mediums and spaces. Today, I would like to present my identity more as a fluid one as an artist, a designer, a curator, an organiser, a fashion aficionado, a gallerist and so on. I don’t want to be categorised,” he tells us.
Sometimes Bose’s work can be minimalistic as well. He approaches everything with extremities for he says, “Everything is momentary.” Hence he finds it difficult to choose when asked which of his works or series of works is closest to his heart. “That would be unfair to all my children” tells the slightly structured artist with a tinkling laugh. “My abstract series is most popular, but I have many travelling projects which I am partial to. Over and above my works and which ones I like, I think I have reached a stage now where I want to explore the deeper realms of art and work towards allowing people to experience it at different levels,” he tells.
While most of the artist’s time is now taken in his curatorial efforts and in working to make the Kochi-Muziris Biennale bigger and better than what it has been the past two years, he stresses on the need create more museum experiences where people can see, encounter and understand art better. “I want to create a space which would be like a museum of books and DVDs. It should be a place for new media art, documentation and proliferation of knowledge about art. At the same time it will have a devoted section for my personal collection of works; a museum of contemporary culture,” he explains. He passionately speaks of the design that has already taken shape in his mind, the shelves holding hundreds and thousands of books and DVDs, and works of art integrated into the space bombarding visitors with different perceptions at every level.
Another of Bose’s quirks is his penchant of surrounding himself with youngsters, whether they are budding artists, entrepreneurs or just college kids. “I alway get more energy from young people,” he tells. His eager entourage is rarely intimidated by him, for his personality is such that he befriends those from all age groups, with utmost ease.
He shuttles between Mumbai, where he lives with his family – wife Radhika, son Aryan and daughter Kannagi – to Kochi where he’s deeply immersed in his work for the Biennale and the rest of the world for his shows as artist and curator, and often just to share his dynamic presence with anyone who might benefit from it.
Photographs: A J Joji