Tag Archives: art

Who Broke Kanishka’s Head?

319px-Kanishka_enhanced

Image source: Wikipedia

In a story published in Bengali magazine Anandamela, a child used to boast about the various precious items in his grandfather’s house. His friend remarked, ‘Who knows, if he searches carefully, he may even find Kanishka’s head!’

Kanishka’s head — one of the several unsolved problems in Indian history. I hesitate in calling it a ‘mystery’ because there is no mysterious element or secrecy as such. So if you are expecting something sensational, you might be disappointed. The problem is a very simple one, and is most probably due to missing links and lost history. Some day someone may find valuable information that would bring the missing pieces together and complete the picture.  Till then, we would have to wait. Continue reading

How Modern Art Is Different From Traditional Art

Scream

The Scream, by Edvard Munch, 1893. Image source: Wikimedia.

In an amusing short story, Satyajit Ray narrated a funny incident in the life of an artist. This artist had worked for several days on an oil painting that he titled ‘The Somnambulist’, and which he wanted to submit as his entry in a competition sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts of the state government. On the last date of submission, instead of sending his painting, by mistake he dispatched the cloth that he had used to wipe and clean his brushes. However, the organizers considered that dirty cloth to be a modern art work and selected it for the first prize!

For most of us, this incomprehensibility is the underlying criterion for any work of art to be classified as ‘modern art’. It goes to an extreme that whenever we fail to understand any artwork, we label it as modern art! Continue reading