Pentagram’s Randolph Correia Contributes To Cutting Edge Art Project
Bandra gallery False Ceiling is exhibiting the third chapter of ad agency head Karthikeyan Ramachandran’s art project 69 with sketches by Correia
It’s been almost a decade since Pentagram and Shaa’ir + Func guitarist and music producer Randolph Correia put his fine arts degree from JJ School of Arts to use for an exhibition. Step into False Ceiling, the gallery in Bandra set up by design agency Xtrathin’s founder Karthikeyan Ramachandran, to have a look at Correia’s felt pen sketches and pencil works for Ramachandran’s autobiographical project titled 69.
“It’s not like I’ve turned artist or something,” said Correia at the preview of 3/69, “Karthik is an old friend and wanted me to do this.” Two years ago, Ramachandran set out writing 69, a personal story of love and relationships “with no reference to anybody”, as a film script. “But then I got busy with advertising and opened up this gallery,” said Ramachandran, who split the script into 69 chapters and decided to exhibit them instead at the gallery, which also doubles up as his workspace and home. There’s even a song playing on loop for every chapter like a background score ”“ this one was set to Brit group Mattafix’s “Clear and Present Danger”.
69 is a collaboration with designer and artist friends that Ramachandran has worked with during his career in the music and advertising industry. “I wanted it to be like a movie shown inside a gallery. The script talks about the current generation’s low tolerance for human relationships,” said Ramachandran adding, “The third chapter is about happiness and time flying in just three months when two people are in a relationship.” The first and second chapters were illustrated with panels as in a comic book format and exhibited earlier this year, and are available for reading at the gallery. For the third chapter, both Correia and Ramachandran tweaked the format to use a single sketch or drawing to illustrate every page of the script.
As an artist, Correia succeeds in reflecting the giddy euphoria of an intense relationship with his psychedelic sketches. The guitarist has turned the story’s protagonist Karthik into a guitar-toting rockstar who isn’t unlike Correia, especially when he’s on stage, with wild hair and neon-colored shoes and clothes. “For me, Karthik isn’t like anyone I’ve known. I wanted him to look like an alien actually in these sketches,” said Correia, who wrapped up the sketches and pencil drawings in three days between shows. Most of the work was completed in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh after Shaa’ir+Func performed at the recent Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Music Festival.
The third chapter also has references to the protagonist’s relationship with his parents turning its focus to a wide generation chasm. “I think the contrasts between generations are coming through nicely. The third chapter is slowly moving forward into a different direction,” added Ramachandran, whose bank of ideas for 69 seems to be brimming over. Most significantly, Ramachandran has been able to engage a range of artists and designers from the city for his conceptual show making it the first of its kind in the city. Already, six other artists have agreed to work on the upcoming chapters with chapter 4 and 5 being readied to be exhibited in May. “There’s a digital programmer working on the 8th chapter and we have plans to make it a digital exhibition,” said Ramachandran, “It’s a passion project that’s turning out to be a mammoth effort.”
3/69 is on from April 10th-20th at False Ceiling, Dr Ambedkar Road, next to The Shop and Whity Dry Cleaners, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050. Call 096191-76007. Timings 5-10pm on weekdays, 11am-10pm on weekends.