For me, sometimes it is hard to identify and distinguish certain art forms from others. The more you meet the creators and curators of art, the gap between what pleases your eyes and what is appreciated by the tasteful, kinda widens.
Now the art form KITSCH world over is considered tacky and cheesy especially by the modern artists. In fact, it is inspired from a German word that means to cheapen. However, there are slightly accepted forms of kitsch called Pre-emptive kitsch and Meta kitsch through which popular artists like Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Allen Jones (who have a certain artistic style that can easily be disregarded by the modern artists) have tried to fit in. They have adopted kitsch and pulled it off deliberately instead of even trying to create what the tasteful like. Try checking out the works of these artists to understand the kind of explicit display & style (for many it falls in the vulgarity zone) kitsch talks about.
World over, now for ease, it is all termed as Pop Art.
In our country, kitsch has somehow taken the form of pop art style and colours that are bold and mostly drawn from Bollywood and the real Indian streets. Our sense of kitsch, I don’t think, will in any recent time go to create works similar to Jeff Koons, the kind of work he has pulled off with Lady Gaga. Well, to me, his work is not chic but it is not kitsch too…it’s playful…lol
This time here at The Purple Frog, there is a coffee jar turned into a flower vase, a tea lover’s Bollywood-style-confession Coaster and our own version of a Playful kitsch Do Not Disturb door tag.
So it’s festival time and if you, like me, you do not know how to feel special on special occasions, try making cool things.
In one of his books, People Watching, Desmond Morris starts by highlighting the fact that all animals perform actions and many go for making artefacts too such as nests, burrows, beds and webs. And then he makes an observation about the ability of abstract thinking in humans and says a beautiful line – it is only with man that artefaction and abstraction have run riot and that’s the essence of his success story.
The ‘run riot’ part sounds superbly wild and when I look around, there are many people who are running their imaginations wild and personalising their worlds. With the Purple Frog store – The Make Shop, the idea is to preserve that touch of raw, that touch of wild which I think is a sign of brimming life.
So you can watch this space for interesting things people have created in the cosy corners of their homes, studios or workshops with varying degrees of precision and suaveness. You can buy them or mail me if you want to make something similar with your touch and I would be happy to help in whichever way I can.
Leaving an inspired you would be the ideal thing here. It is the sense of accomplishment that comes with MAKE that makes all the difference. It is obviously not possible to design and stitch your own clothes, make your own furniture, cook gourmet meals or all things else.
But, you can definitely make a small wooden chest, tie and dye a silk scarf, add a few pearls at the base of your white linen curtain for that starry shimmer, cheer for your team in a jersey with you in the team’s name, paint a board game on the ignored side table or cook gourmet using an ingredients kit …so MAKE DO with your existing craft skills and DO MAKE something every now and then…
This Week’s Thing
A 19 by 12 inches iron table turned into a game board for mindless, quickie games of Saap Seedi and Ludo. This has magnetic ‘Gotis’, a Die and a Dice Cup. We have left the legs of the table bare in case some day the imagination runs wild, there will be scope to do more.
An image conjures up in the mind when you associate an unimaginable feature to an existing mundane object. I find the idea of such quirks beautiful. The beauty of imagination…how far it can lead you.
And then when such a mutation of that object exists in nature, you don’t feel informatively challenged, rather divinely connected.
Although purple isn’t my favourite colour, it just doesn’t let go off my fascination. Every time I get over it, it possesses a new form and appears in front of me.
First of all, the colour seems to have been trending ever since I gained consciousness. I like many other colours more than purple, such as blue and white, yet I can’t get over my first introduction to the colour purple, a sari in my mum’s traditional sari collection. Every time that sari came out of that suitcase of hers during the exciting wedding season of Delhi, I would let my eyes devour the colour for hours. I wonder if it was the richness of the plain bright colour or that soft pashmina-silk over which it lay so beautifully.
Sitting in my parents’ bedroom, I used to create noises, that now would be considered inappropriate) pestering my mum to wear it. When she used to refuse to wear something that bright, I used to just lust over the smoothness and beauty of it and hold it and massage it all over my face. I think i wanted to eat it like everything yummy that came my way.
That same fascination I have with the word toad. Not because it is my favourite animal (a Giraffe is, for reasons I will share later) but because I love the title of a book that’s called ‘ Toad in my garden’.
Raised in a small house with a big wild garden, I could immediately conjure images of a beautiful dark green frog leaping about there with the squirrels.
So one random day, my mind imagined a purple frog. A pretty little naughty fellow. I complimented myself on coming up with something that sounds so cool. A perfect brand name for anything I ever start, I thought. However, the purple of the sari wasn’t suiting the toad in my head.
And that’s when i googled ‘purple frog’ to look for some clipart.
I can’t explain in enough words the spiritual connection I felt when I realized, in nature, purple frog exists. I almost felt like god. lol
Purple Frog turned out to be as rare as the reason of my creating an image of it in my head and falling in love with it as though it were real.
It is only found in the Western Ghats of India. And if I remember right, around Kerala some 150 have been traced, out of which only 3 are female. Yeah, I know. I also had the same reaction. Quite skewed a ratio for the species to be able to survive few more years.
However, the exciting part was purple frog exists. The purple of its gooey smooth slippery skin makes him look so beautiful for me to want to do something with it, like the purple sari. I am an aspiring vegetarian, otherwise the truth is, it looks so beautiful to me that I want to eat it up.
That said, this is the first thing I’m doing on my own and it has to be called ‘The Purple Frog.’
The idea is to take off from here in every direction that imagination takes into. Explore subjects, objects, places and possibilities in whatever the mind can comprehend, the body can do and the soul can feel.
Why am I sharing it with the world or keeping an account of my thoughts on the web? Well, they said that if you think original, you can make money of the internet. Plus I think there’s always some place where you can be present at the right time and make a difference.
So the idea is to give wings to thoughts and make them reach like-minded people and someday, may be, empower as many people as possible to feel free, feel inspired and explore the world how nature originally intended us to.
Only then will The Purple Frog call it’s puny existence meaningful…