Artists have been known to challenge the status quo all over the world. That’s how we’ve evolved as an intelligent species, perhaps. Take Shirish Deshpande, for example. When a ballpoint pen is looked upon only as a writing tool, he made it his fascination to create stunning paintings. When the world got frustrated with the imposed lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, he used that time to create one painting a day. Some of these artworks are on display from today at Varerkar Natya Sangh’s Kalamaharshi K. B. Kulkarni Art Gallery and will be open till Tuesday 28th Dec 2021. His new book ‘Exploring the Ballpoint’ was also released today at the hands of Dr. Govind Kale, Program Director (Retd.) Kala Academy Goa, Sanjay Deshpande- Noted sitar maestro, Chandrakant Joshi- artist and film maker and Rajeshkumar Maurya- Director, Belagavi Airport and himself an artist.
Shirish Deshpande is an intelligent artist. Having completed his G.D. Art from Abhinav Kala Vidyalaya, Pune in 1979, he has gone on to work on his words are full of meaning and so is his pen. Using the humble ballpoint pen, and millions of strokes, he creates shades that one wouldn’t even imagine using a brush. On display today are some captivating abstracts, geometric designs, landscapes (check out for the candid ones) and portraits.
The one that caught my eye is the small image depicting the clock tower of the City Central Library, Ganpat Galli featuring an empty street beneath, captured brilliantly by Uday Kinjawdekar’s team using a drone during the lockdown. Aptly titled ‘Curfew’, it brings forth the poignancy of an otherwise busy street that is now lying empty under the shadow of time that appears to stand still. Still more captivating are his portraits of Pt. Rambhau Vijapure, Shri Pantmaharaj Balekundri, sitar maestro Sanjay Deshpande and renowned artist Late Shri K. B. Kulkarni among others.
Shirish’s book traces the journey of rendering art through ballpoints, giving one a step by step account right from choosing your subject, pens, shading, framing the composition and more. It’s sure to attract artists who love to explore different mediums. Shirish is also the driving force behind the establishment of the artists collective – Gulmohar B. A. G. (Belgaum Artist’s Group) that organizes art shows in Belagavi. Happy to see that all the members of the BAG were in full presence at this exhibition including Chandrashekhar Ranganekar, Shilpa Khadakbhavi, Mahesh Honule, Sachin Upadhye, Preeti Pavate and also renowned cartoonist Jagadish Kunte.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity, the exhibition is open from 11 am to 7 pm today, 26th until Tuesday 28th Dec.