Recreating life through film and paint

The Tasveer Art Gallery showcased renowned photographer and writer Waswo X Waswo in Bengaluru, from 27th april to 27th May 2017.

© Waswo X. Waswo, Feathers for Sale, 2008, Black and white pigment print hand-coloured by Rajesh Soni Courtesy Tasveer

Walking into the Tasveer Art Gallery is not what one may be accustomed to feel. Unlike most galleries, the people that work here are young, enthusiastic, and brimming with information about the visiting artists. They work hard to sell their clients’ works, but they do not need to, for the works themselves are masterpieces and require no second hand information. Waswo reproduces photographs that can immerse you in thought for hours on end.

© Waswo X. Waswo, Gauri Dancers 11, 2013, Black and white pigment print hand-coloured by Rajesh Soni Courtesy Tasveer

The exhibition displays Photowalla, a series of hand painted photographs by Waswo and his collaborating partner- Rajesh Soni. Richard John Waswo, an American photographer, was initially known for his Sepia toned photographs of India. Waswo moved to India in 2006 and shifted his photographs from Sepia to Black and White. These photographs were handpainted using watercolour by Waswo’s friend and collabrotor Rajesh Soni, an artist from Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Waswo X Waswo’s Photowalla is a series which reflects on the​ culture and heritage of india, particularly captured in Udaipur. Waswo started his own photography studio in Udaipur and has built strong connections with the people there. This exhibition displays three categories of his hand painted photographs, taken in his studio- Gauri Dancers and New Myths.  Through his work in Rajasthan, he portrays the lives of the people and this series included paintings like Feathers for Sale and bike boys. Gauri dancers are portraits of tribal people and New Myths is a small series of photographs showing the life of Krishna.

© Waswo X. Waswo, Night Prowl, 2008, Black and white pigment print hand-coloured by Rajesh Soni Courtesy Tasveer

The photographs are shot with a painted back drop which are painted by different artists around Udaipur. Waswo conceptualizes what comes in each frame and the background is painted accordingly. After the black and white photographs are taken and printed, Rajesh Soni works on the coloration of each picture, says Anishaa, Tasveer Gallery.

Waswo Explores the genre of Ethno graphic photographs that reflect on the style of studio photographs that existed in precolonial era. Photowalla has been travelling around the country and is now being displayed in Bengaluru for a month, adds Anishaa, who works at the gallery.