By: Ali Aizaz Zahid

ARTIST'S amazing vivid images of his home nation get a New York exhibition.

Near the end of his abruptly abbreviated life, Raghbir Singh complained about a curator who asked him why he didn't  photograph outside India.

He observed that one wonders why Walker Evans or Gary Winogrand stayed in the United States.

''He was sitting by these American blinders that see America as the world and other places as foreign,'' said Mia Fineman, the associate curator of photographs at the  Metropolitan Museum of  Art.

Singh photographs depict scenes that  Western viewers find exotic, it is easy to overlook their  formally inventive compositions and masterful technique -to realize they are not simply reporting, they are art.

Singh, who died of a massive heart attack in New York in 1999, at the age of 56, straddled the chasm that separates-

Modernist street photography and traditional Indian culture. He worked through out his life in color, which set him apart from the black-and-white photographers he admired -including-

Henri-Carter Bresson, William  Gedney and Lee Friedlander. He believed that only through color could the Indian reality be captured : not only because the streets in India pulsate with the entire chromatic spectrum-

But also, he declared, because of the somberness of black is shunned by Indians, and the dark,  guilt-ridden ethos of  Western art is alien to their joyful vision of life.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!