Thursday, September 24, 2009

Art, artists, collectors and the gold rush

SHIVA Viktor Vijay 78"X58

Art, artists, collectors and the gold rush

A clever collector apart from targeting big profit also climbs up the socio-cultural tower and is viewed as the prince charming by ordinary mortals on ground. The success with money is as daunting as failure with it. But a true collector collects for love and love alone shall prevail. To be rich is not a curse, the curse is if it makes us fall.
Fundamental to high speculative profits is near monopoly accumulation. Decades early in Delhi I knew of consortium of investors/speculators many of them in top jobs in IBM and multinationals in India who would accumulate individual company shares. When the market had risen spectacularly and they dumped them to reap high profits. It worked quite a bit. In art the accumulation principle is applied with a caveat. Each artist may produce works of differing quality and aesthetic value. Here the role of collector, art advisers, dealers and galleries becomes crucial in buying the right kind of art.
Collecting unsung new artists is normally low risk but may offer possibility of very high return if the collectors are able to foresee the future growth and value of particular art or artists. When Durand Ruel (1831—1922) the French art dealer supported and collected works of Impressionists—Claude Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet and Pissarro and others there was hardly a value attached to them. Impressionism was not recognized as a new art movement then. In all Durand collected thousands of works of these artists straight from their studios to the extent of going near bankrupt. People must have thought Ruel to be nuts when he bought such visionary art. It is still the largest single collection of Impressionists art. But today this collection may be worth hundreds nay thousands of million dollars.
Charles. Saatchi known to bulk collect works by artists he thinks have potential to go big time and then off loads wholesale at right time to reap big He collected YBA, Hirst Sean Scully etc, and got richer by millions of dollars.. Collectors of the ilk of Aby Rosen collect large number of works from an individual artist. Remember bulk ‘collections’ of known collectors are worth much more than individual works separately sold belonging to an artist.
Bulk buying is not same as herd buying. Some names become fashionable for a short time and then take long vacation. When market was booming some artists’ paintings were touted in the art circle as a good buy (mind it not as good art) and everyone was trying to buy without knowing any thing about her/his work/history or art journey or in some cases about what she/he paints.. I hear many of such artists are in dire straights and so are all those who were buying their works more like a stock market hot tip. The collectors in many cases are not able to sell them even for 20% of the price they paid.
Nearer home in India in 80’s Badruddin Daya a shoe-business magnate would buy up whole exhibitions of artists that were yet untested at highly discounted prices. Ashish Anand of Delhi Art gallery is also known to buy up whole collections from artists. But the obverse side too, I know of many bulk buyers who have lost quite a bit by ill advised collection of junk art or I should say only junk. But who can tell you that you have junk if you are deep pocketed dollar billionaire. What happens if the genie in bottle vanishes and has to be replaced with a fresh sea catch it still is art if the artist /collector says it. And of course other lesser mortals willingly bite the bait. I remember Bertrand Russell in one of his books on nuclear holocaust said what would happen if a mad person become President of U.S.A. who would dare tell him that and he could jolly well blow up the world.
There is uncouth speculation and possible price doctoring in art market of today. If you look at long, very long time it took for the art of Van Gogh , Renoir, Manet, Monet, Kandinsky, Juan Miro etc took to arrive at the millions of dollar value in comparison to the very short period it took many of the present day artist celebrities to arrive at stupendous prices—selling for 10’s or 100’s of million dollars.(many of them have turned their art into a factory produce churned out by coolie labour and only signed by them) Imagine and compare the creative worth of a diamond studded platinum mould of a skull with the Sunflowers by Van Gogh. Van Gogh changed our life for good with his paintings; he imbued passion, romance and freedom of soul unheard of earlier in artistic expression. What does the diamond skull proclaim other than that it required a very rich person to create it and another very rich person to buy it with no talk of virginal imagination or creativity? Unfortunately quite a few middle level artists in India have come to imitating the path of the Western current market celebrities. I would call them market celebrities for their worth—real or doctored—is seen as price leaders and not necessarily imaginative path creating art leaders. No society recognizes its boorishness, its left to later generations to recognize it.
Like the totemic cult societies of yore one of the most secretive markets in the world is art market. The mechanism of price determination is therefore one most unreliable. Who are the price players and bidders is not visible. Allegations surface that the sellers and the buyers are proxies especially in auctions. When it comes to greed of making a fast buck quite few market players are Madoff like.
There are more pitfalls in art market structure but it definitely does not mean white winged angels do not exist. Otherwise how you have such stupendous collection of art gifted to state museums or exist in private museums. There are smaller mortals who have become legends for their visionary collections and at times against tremendous odds. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have collected thousands of art works with their very modest incomes from jobs of a postal clerk and Brooklyn librarian. They lived in one bed room apartment and stored thousands of art works from likes of Christo, Andy Warhol and Donald Judd They gifted away all their collection to Museums all over U.S. Imagine they used one spouse salary for their living expenses and with the other they collected art. They are a legend and to me and of course to many around the globe they are in line with Frick, Solomon Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and others who gifted so much art to humankind. I hope some of the Indian billionaires are listening.

Viktor Vijay

Monday, September 21, 2009

An Indian Modernist—D.K.Roy Choudhery

An IndianModernist—D.K.Roy Choudhery

In the dust of time settle great till someone with discerning eyes take the dust off. I look around me a mad rush and networking to proclaim in a cacophony of market place even flying-in-the-wind pieces as great art, but there were others who worked a lifetime to explicate from the deeper recesses of their souls to give us lasting and refreshing art. They were not daunted by the exigencies of the market place; they painted what emerged from deep within.
One such was D K Roy Chowdhury. His students from college of art Delhi or Kolkata and his colleagues likewise say he was one exceptional—as a human as a teacher and as an artist. He was unassuming about his creations or may be what he created was so way ahead of times that he did not bother about appreciation.
The present exhibition titled ‘An Indian Modernist’ is mounted at Studio Vasant. It has a cross section of his works. From watercolours done in softer floats of colour to life studies and minimalist and expressionist near-abstractions, he did it all.

The water colours carry the stamp of mastery that can emerge from Kolkata alone Look at his soft musical rendition in Landscape-IV and Landscape-II .The Landscape-III and ‘Snow’ are semi-abstract warm orange and yellow sunny landscapes and. in more ways than one are kindred with landscapes of Ganesh Holoi. The loving care with which he handles portraits is visible for example when you see ‘A portrait of a hill girl’. The amazing ease with which he jumps from academism to creative freedom can be seen in works like ‘Children at play’ and ‘Face of a lady.’ reminding one of Matisse’s portrait of his wife. His minimalist Symbolist expression is at its zenith in works like ‘Breeze’, ‘Evening’, and Desertscape’.
Lest you may miss, look at Roy Chowdhury’s example of very contemporary abstraction. His grid like compositions with thick moody brush in ‘Juxtaposed’, ‘Boundless energy’, Urbanscape, leave you asking for more. He to me is an Indian Robert Motherwell whose large canvasses in The MoMa New York Stunned me into submission with the seductive dark and black line work. Ram Kumar romances colours in his abstract landscapes while Roy Choudhery renders silence with his muted frugal palette (see his Hill View) and we love both.
A wide range of creativity from form based to abstraction by this versatile artist are in line with the contemporary German artist Gerhard Richter who works very realistic smudged portraits to total abstract celebration of colour rhythms.
This is an exhibition that should not be missed for historical context, and a landmark art that has incidentally gone largely unrecognized but holds high aesthetic value.

Viktor Vijay Kumar

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journey of an Artist,......20

L' Homme qui tombe Viktor vijay 34'X42"
Night was long and I was tired. I decided not to complicate things, and did not intend to sound brash to the fine hospitality so lovingly offered. Two great cultures separated by time and space were brought together by the quirk of fate in the same bed. So be it, life, love, humanity and civilization must flourish and bloom. Rules and taboo are subservient to the time, space, and evolutionary process. There are no absolutes. I bowed to the destiny. Whispering night and sweet Tana spun a magical web, she sailed with me to unknown joyous lands. The spirit climbed glades of unparallel beauty. She made me realize the string music of my body and opened the closed doors to my soul. I offered my soul at the altar of love that transcended the physical into eternal. Soon I would realize greater truths about life and living. The eternal journey was on.

Dawn breaks quite early in Himalayas. After crossing hills and valleys of love, I left the bed at day break. The warm bonhomie of the previous day continued through the new day. Tana offered me milky hot tea and her refreshing dew-fresh smile. We had talked long in the night and I discovered her soul's finesse. Even one night of sharing souls could invest lighted joys in humans. And we were no different in this regard. I breakfasted with the family. Mani enquired if I had a comfortable night. I said yes, though it was replete with strong winds and mighty blizzards. He told me that he was delighted that I felt good and relished their hospitality. I thanked Mani profusely for all that he provided me. As a mark of my gratitude, I offered Mani a jacket and Tana an old Byzantine silver coin. I left general use medicines for the village for common maladies. For myself I carried away a lot of folk history, and a fairy tale night of celebration. Fragrant memory of my stay among the forgotten warriors of Alexander was an additional gift.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spark in down turn art Market

New York Times carried a piece by Roberta Smith on the survival tactics of New York City galleries in the face of economic downturn. Different solutions worked out to survive mostly revolve around operational cost cutting--shifting to cheaper spaces, reduction in employees, holding fewer and longer duration exhibitions,reduced advertising and curatorial expenses, avoiding participation in art fairs and so on.
But one gallery is spending time to unearth little known or undervalued artists who have not made it big.
The business model found resonance while I discussed the down turn in art market with artist friend Pramod Ganpatye. He said it is time the the undervalued senior artists were looked up by galleries and curators. There is great substance in this argument. Market lifts prices continuously for artists who arrive in so called higher circuits of galleries and auctioneers. This one -way focus on select artists is built by HNI who have personal interest o built up prices of their collection. Just imagine what the auction price of $136 million for the Klimt's portrait of Lady Adele Bloch Bauer
might have done to the prices of Klimt that were held as inventories by deep pocketed collectors. But think what happened to the Irises and Vase with 12 Sunflowers by Van Gogh that were sold for millions of dollars to Japanese collectors and who on bankruptcy found the sales value depleted to half or even less.
Market is an ass and builds on blind following. The good artists get left behind for they do not know to market themselves quite often. To look for keen value in art and to find good art among artists who have slogged for decades unsung and living in the isolated privacy of their studios is what the galleries should be doing in India too.
There are those who found name and money but then slipped many a notch to find problems in paying apartment EMIs or to maintain trucks/SUVs they bought while the going was good.But others never had an impact of down turn for they were never part of the senseless upturn.
The art world must find values in art not based on glitter but iron strength of creativity. its high time someone in India also does what New York gallery is doing in uncovering the dust from unsung but mean priced art.

Friday, August 28, 2009

India Art Summit 2009--II

This was the second edition of Art Summit. Certain strains were visible in this Summit. There was overwhelming desire to execute installations and sculptures among artists. The celebration of gay and lesbian in art was more remarked even among artists who claim no knowledge of minority sexuality. I think it is done to be fashionable. The experiences that create art with alternate sexuality can not be Xeroxed by the 'Straight'.
Certain artists used material as their USP rather than the expression/imagination. I hold Damian Hirst responsible for creating the craze for the material at the expense of creativity. Otherwise how his $100 million precious stone studded skull will hold ground. there are quite a few in India who are trying to just do that.
The opening session on day first was reserved for VIPs, whatever it means in terms of art and aesthetics i do not know. But I know for sure a large number of very serious/good artists were kept out by Special Invitations Syndrome. A Van Gogh if their is any in India will not get invited to the opening which included presentations/talks by Collectors/artists/ curators/art writers and critics.
The VIP invitations make such events more exclusive than inclusive.
coming to International art one must appreciate the organizers that they could get more foreign art and galleries. It was also good to see foreign galleries showcasing Indian artists and Indian galleries exhibiting foreign artists. Though in recent past Arun Vadhera had in collaboration with Grosvener gallery U.K. had brought works of Picasso, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud to Indian art lovers, the Summit also had works of Picasso, Dali, Andy Warhol and a number of others. I must appreciate the growing interest at home in big names especially in artists of Indian orgin. Anish Kapur had a very successful sale run of the works exhibited. Matter of fact if I understand correctly a substantial amount of money out of total sales was generated by Picasso, Dali, Anish Kapur and other greats. This is a welcome addition to the visual vocabulary of art aficionados.
About contemporary or Modernist senior artists there seemed an amnesia. It was not that the M.F. Hussain's work were not exhibited other greats like Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, Jogen Choudhry,Raza and many many more had small or no representation in the Summit. But then the galleries have to go by fashion also. I must here mention Ashish Anand of DAG whose affable mother(who started the Gallery) I knew decades back and who must have learnt to spot sterling art early in life. He had put up considerable and very good art spanning a long period of time. His exceptional collection included a very lyrical abstract landscape by Raza apart from Souza, Robin Mandal, Sunil Das, Amitava, Himmat shah and a galaxy of other greats.
There are shortcoming in any new venture and present Summit being no exception. But one appreciates that it has created a meeting ground for those associated with fine art in any capacity. The greatest joy was to run into inquisitive children shepherded by parents, large posse of art students and ofcorse artists from all over the country and abroad.
For the first time in India one can view at one place and critically examine the kind of art that is being created. The Art summit definitely despite shortcoming is bulding the necessary infrastructure for seeing and appreciating art.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

India Art Summit Delhi 2009

Assembling this work of art in Europe in Austria I used discarded German truck MAN front cover. I liked the symbolism of Man and the circular spool about the Cycle of Man-Nature. Inset in oval is evocation of landscape. The colours in my palette symbolize the serenity(Blue) and joy(red yellow)

Artist Viktor Vijay
MAN German truck front cover, wooden spool, Acrylic paint and canvas
Assemblage in St Michael Austria
Work in collection of Anton Mayer

Art Fairs exert a lot of pressure on legs as on heart. This i know from art fairs in Europe and Museum Night or from Open Studios that is a common practice in West for getting people to know art and artists.
Apart from meeting the community, I did find some very refreshing works by artists who are not even known. Name is the result of umpteen repetitions and one can find the same in case of the art that is churned out as Pavlovian conditioned. But name in modern times is created and destroyed in short spans of time.
I discovered a kind of digital-computer Neo-realism that offers blind servility to the technology in a large number of cases. But there are Gladiators par excellence like Rameshwar Broota. His work combining camera and computer work creates surrealistic imagery. The print on paper evokes human limbs through moulded steel pipes.
More like fast food art is being dished out by a blind use of technology. On to many such works I could not find the soul. Intimidation and shock work were aplenty to make the viewer acquiesce.
I must come back to you after my mind and body plays out the art fatigue.
Till then--

Monday, August 10, 2009

An Artist Ruminates—Landscapes on Fire

Acrylic on handmade paper size 22"X28" each work

Landscapes on Fire

Rust coloured autumn warmth,Tatra Mountains on fire, green forest in Finland fighting a losing battle with emerging passionate red, crimson, ochre and orange, the landscape in Piedmont in Italy audaciously confronting like a sensual hot damsel, streaks of fiery colours in the greens around Danube near Braila in Romania, the cool Mediterranean blue set against energetic warm breathing Taurus Mountains in Kemer in south central Turkey, the scintillating fragrance of forest in September in Salzburg in Austria are etched like some master etchings in my soul. They are durable and permanent as long as I am. But then they will outlive me through my warm European abstract landscapes that are inspired by colourful Nature in Europe.
The languid long wine and vermillion sunsets spring suddenly whispering silhouetted joys. Unbridled passion is evoked in me by the noble hearted maiden-Europe nay Europa and I am left ruminating about her charming body and soul that she vivaciously flaunts. How do I find another like this?
I live her and return to her charm in my paintings ‘Landscapes on Fire—Europe as I see her’.
It is not the Nature, land and culture but also the ateliers of friends where I worked, glasses of wine, music and dance, shared love and laughter, swimming in Mediterranean, exploring ancient Roman amphitheatres and aqueducts, visiting galleries and museums, meeting and parting are the little nuggets of diamond joy tucked inside me forever.
Art emerges from the experience and evocation. And I have life full and overflowing with them. From the Journey of an Artist emerged refreshing landscapes.
It was a beautiful land—rolling hills, sensuous, fragrant valleys, exquisite sunsets, white winters, warm summers, scintillating springs and brown ochre romantic autumns. It was a land where love grew in the form of fragrant linden flowers; flowing brooks, singing canaries, jingling bells, nature composed music—as cows grazed in the lush meadows and virginal winds kissed endearingly every blade of grass, every flower in bloom and every leaf of tree.
It was in this fecund land that I was born to my mother. In the nature's nursery here, my childhood was nursed. It was here that I played with squirrels and birds, collected wild flowers, raced with the winds, watched fishes gambol in streams, and learnt my lessons about colours from changing seasons.
I live these landscapes and return to them through my art.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ruminations by Artist

I felt a new, resurgent energy. I put a new canvas on easel. The passion of winter sun, aroma of burnt grass, and the fragrance of Ruhi coursed sweetly through me. I painted with this happy feeling, of proximity to nostalgia of beauty. I painted on. When I looked out of my studio window, the evening sun was spreading its vermillion bounty on the landscape; families of cranes flew in formation back to their nests and waiting chicks. Slowly and stealthily with cat’s paws, the evening silhouettes were advancing to steal the lustre and light from the departing sun. It was a moment, a still, unmoving moment. A moment of nostalgia, pain, and craving, it was. It was a totality—an infinity in finitude, or so I felt. How fragile is the existent, hardly we become familiar with it that it vanishes. Fragilities are born incessantly and they die and enter the infinity. What if I could catch infinity through fragility or to have a glimpse of the eternal while fragility transmits itself in to the eternal? What was I looking for, eternity in the moment or a glasshouse full of inconstant images? I shut the window, cleaned my brushes, locked the studio, and stepped out in the street. The life flowed in the street, stray animals lazing oblivious to the goings on around them, people rushing with the business of life, hawkers touting their ware with loud shrill voices, children playing games, little roadside stalls offering hot food to the hungry. This was one frame, one painting of the fragile time. How would I catch the glimpse of the eternal from these vanishing moments? That was my search, and that's what I had to paint. Such big quantity of time had always been passing in fragility. Yesterdays were mere specks of memories stringed together, existing in, but emptiness

Dusk 102"X56"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Face kissed by Light and fragrant Wind

Artist Viktor Vijay
Acrylic on canvas
size 66"X60"

Two is not a duality always. Two is togetherness too. Like flowers and their fragrance, sky and earth, wind and water, body and soul, man and woman, love and sharing, sleep and awakening,, action and rest, song and music, humans and the environment etc.
This painting is inspired by such feelings. There are two faces into sieve-light creating a musical cadence of Nature. We are happy to share to hold hands to sing together and to live together

Thursday, April 16, 2009

blue Moon

After a short journey by local train, crossing Donau I arrived home. My street is known after the beautiful mohnblumen trees that line my locality. My house has trees in the garden, an exotic palm, and bunch of bamboos that I planted and with good care nurtured them that they are now tall and their beautiful knife-leaves sway and sing in the wind, making me feel that I am in exotic Oriental landscape. Creepers climb the boundary wall in ecstasy, and flower with ethereal fragrance in the season. In the centre is a small natural pond where fishes play. Now in the spring May flowers bloom as they do in the forests near my house.
From a tall old oak tree trunk I shaped a large table. On this table surrounded by the chirping birds, nectar greedy butterflies and fragrant wind I have my dinner. My friends also like to stay out in the garden and enjoy coffee, and good Austrian wines from warm south and chat long hours in the night. When I walk out of the house, in ten minutes I am in the neighbourhood of small hills, which emit fine fragrance of the woods. I enjoy walking up the hills talking to the trees and plants the way I did as a child in Styria. My joys in life are many, but one I treasure more is to watch the sun depart in its crimson glow behind the hills to rest after long day's work.
Journey of an Artist

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rajsthan-A magical landscape

Whispers soft and sweet as the sun departed in the remote endless expanse of Rajasthan. I captured the music as i travelled with my two artist friends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Face in light n Wind

Artist Viktor Vijay
Acrylic on canvas
size 66"X60"

Two is not a duality always. Two is togetherness too. Like flowers and their fragrance, sky and earth, wind and water, body and soul, man and woman, love and sharing, sleep and awakening,, action and rest, song and music, humans and the environment etc.
This painting is inspired by such feelings. There are two faces into sieve-light creating a musical cadence of Nature. We are happy to share to hold hands to sing together and to live together.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A blooming Awakened Spirit

"Bless U dear friend,Your pearl- precious thoughts invoke a refresahing joy of spirit. Your poetic persona touches the Eternal rainbows. Your sunshine spirit must be shared with other kindred spirits. Please do share your lovely thoughts ......

Viktor Vijay

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi Stupa is a marvel of Buddhist architecture. It is located in the midst of vast green verdant plains in Madhya Pradesh in India. It has stories from the previous births of Buddha. Jatak Kathas as they are known are a great example of living for others or compassion. Buddha whether born as a deer or a bird or a human always sacrificed so others could live. The mastery of the stone carvings depict scenes from Buddha's life.

Buddhist art got enriched as I said earlier by the mixing of Greek and Indian culture of the time. Many Grecian kings did erect Buddhist emblems in their empires specially in Gandhar and Bactria.

Viktor Vijay

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Greece and India--shared cultural space

Budha is depicted symbolically in Sanchi
I wonder how even wars created a cultural enrichment among civilizations. Alexander's conquest of India seen over a longer period of time gave new nuances to Indian art. Buddha was not depicted as a form till then. If you look at Sanchi Stupa in India there are only symbols to denote Buddha. But Grecian art brought a fresh expression to Indian art and Ghandhar Buddha is the sterling example of this.I wonder in today's Internet community we are intermingling arts and culture from all parts of the world and of course without wars.Today I can reach out through Internet and Facebook to my friends in Greece and can enrich myself with this one very ancient culture. and beautiful land.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Love the World

Autumn Whispers
Artist Viktor Vijay
Acrylic on canvas
I dont want to change the world, first I want to change the way I look at the world.
--Viktor Vijay

Flowers I Love

42"X 34"
Acrylic on canvas
Artist Viktor Vijay
In you I hold Infinity as shattered pieces of Time. Do you not combine the shattered Time in Eternal Joy. Its better to arrive in flower first than in seed.

Viktor Vijay

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Universe of Love

Artist Viktor Vijay
Acrylic on canvas
Where you walked you rejuvenated life, where you whispered the soul resurfaced, where you held a hand a new being sprouted. You gifted a universe of love joy compassion and peace.

The Land Eternal of Buddha

Buddha Stupa

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Buddha--Eternal Light

Eternal Chakra
Artist :Viktor Vijay
acrylic on canvas

Sanchi Stupa-Below cosmic blue and in green groves

India Madhy Pradesh

I circumbulate, I bow my humble bodily abode, I to your Divine essence drag my sullied deviations and O Buddha! I desire the desireless Blue of the Ether to sublimate the mortar of the material.

I do not wish to be witness to coming and going, to ups and downs, to here and there, to now and then, to love and hatred, to self and the world, to dualities. The velvet of Oneness whispered from the magical Infinite beyond evolution and vanishing is I seek.
viktor vijay

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Acrylic on canvas
Artist Viktor vijay
I shut my eyes in Supplication to see a new universe that passes through your fragrance divine!

I do not wish to vanquish Desire for you dwell on a Pedestal in there!

Viktor Vijay

Whispers-- If Rimbaud heard

Your words are but poetic pearls that flow like a cascade of sunshine. Joy to know you--deep like oceans and high like heavens.
Viktor Vijay

Ethereal Roses and Rainbows-5

Journey of an artist
I am in Vienna yet outside of its big city intensities. My house is in the outskirts of Vienna and it gives me a feeling of fulfilment when I go out to neighbouring villages, watch the farm animals in the fields, the goose and turkey swimming in the clean crystal water of the ponds, and the farmers working their golden crops. When the crops are piled back in the farmers' barns, the round rolled haystacks lying in the close cropped fields make me feel that some ancient Roman wheels from the past have emerged in the fields waiting for being fitted into carts. The golden plains shine in the summer pleasantness. The hills majestically look at the flourishing activities of the farmers and their families. It is such a mound of peace I feel when on Sunday I walk around the landscape, and watch anglers fishing in the streams, warm heat rising from the land as sun bakes it softly, and in the distance village church bells chime in the glory of the eternal.
Viktor vijay

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Dialogue

The soul caressing sun-warmed winds that I follow may lead me to lands peopled by such as you. You who takes the light of the heavens and bestows it back to those on the earth. Life is a constant search for Rainbows and likes of you always mix the colours of life (so I feel ) that new rainbows are created on earth that we can touch them and find the flow of eternal Joy
"Le soleil a noirci la flamme des bougies;Ainsi, toujours vainqueur, ton fantôme est pareil,Ame resplendissante, à l'immortel soleil!"

— Charles Baudelaire

Bloom forever,


Austrian Landscapes

Gustav Klimt known more for his art deocrativ portraiture also excelled in landscapes. He developed a small strokes technique that is regarded as more of telescopic focus on the landscape.I saw one very beautiful sun bathed landscape in Gallery Etienne in New York. Attersee Lake in Austria had Klimt's Studio where he painted many beautiful landscapes in lovely summer and autumn light. Mr Ronald Lauder should be thanked for his love of fin de siecle Austrian art that he has created in beautiful building The Neu Galerie in New York. The Museum has a large body of erotic drawings from Egon Schiele. The most expensive painting by Klimt a portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer that was for long in Belvedere Museum in Vienna reverted back to the family and was acquired by Lauder and is proudly housed in Neue Galerie.Long time in Austria and Germany has etched a joy in the summer-autumn landscapes that I always relish. Klimt was one such votary. My autumn series incidentally was also born in Austria in Salzburg. Staying in the atelier of my friend Eva Mazzucco I worked a splash and dots technique did abstracts in 2003-2004.

Viktor Vijay

Ethereal Roses and Rainbows-4

Journey of an Artist

After a short journey by local train, crossing Donau I arrived home. My street is known after the beautiful mohnblumen trees that line my locality. My house has trees in the garden, an exotic palm, and bunch of bamboos that I planted and with good care nurtured them that they are now tall and their beautiful knife-leaves sway and sing in the wind, making me feel that I am in exotic Oriental landscape. Creepers climb the boundary wall in ecstasy, and flower with ethereal fragrance in the season. In the centre is a small natural pond where fishes play. Now in the spring May flowers bloom as they do in the forests near my house.
From a tall old oak tree trunk I shaped a large table. On this table surrounded by the chirping birds, nectar greedy butterflies and fragrant wind I have my dinner. My friends also like to stay out in the garden and enjoy coffee, and good Austrian wines from warm south and chat long hours in the night. When I walk out of the house, in ten minutes I am in the neighbourhood of small hills, which emit fine fragrance of the woods. I enjoy walking up the hills talking to the trees and plants the way I did as a child in Styria. My joys in life are many, but one I treasure more is to watch the sun depart in its crimson glow behind the hills to rest after long day's work.

In my neighbourhood lives an artist who paints sun kissed sweet landscapes of the eternal land of Austria. Sometimes we meet either in his garden or mine and share some wine and the happenings in our respective fields of art.


Viktor Vijay

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life is a beauty and a joy

Its God's grace and soul's desire,

Wait not for another but for

one you know,YOURSELF!
In the kind dreamy eyes I see

a thousand rainbows and blue sea!
the soft whispering light on your face

is the charm of a fresh Mona Lisa's grace

Viktor Vijay

Be a Damien Hirst of soul and not of diamonds. Only then you can create great art!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I met Elena first time in a small café mostly frequented by artists. I had gone there with a colleague. I had not been very long in Vienna. The small café is very popular with artists who struggle to balance their creative world with the material. My colleague knew Elena. She introduced me to her. She came from a small town called Zilina in north-western Slovakia, very close to Tatras. When I heard ‘Tatras’ a chord stuck in me; my mother and father had met in Polish Tatras and it held a special magic for me. Elena is a photojournalist. She is tall, lanky and with very intense brown eyes. The café owner has special affection for art and artists. The walls of café are full of paintings, drawings, and photos, gifts from artists who frequent the place and have sweet bonhomie with the owner. The artists hunger is satiated by the fresh strudels, and delicious Viennese cakes. I find the owner on his desk with his well-groomed beard and a smile for all the artists, known to him by name. The artists relax by his good coffee, meditating or in the midst of heated art discussions, their faces hidden partly by the thick blue smoke from their cigarettes. It often reminds me of Picasso’s card players wrapped in thick smoke. This is a magical world –faces vanish and emerge constantly from the smoke screen. Life is lived here with intensity oblivious to the routine run of daily grind.

This brings to my mind the wonderful old man with Tolstoy-beard who would stay on a bench by Stefanplatz bus station just opposite the Mozart candy store named after great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It looked very funny to me to have turned the great artist into an advertisement to sell chocolates. Everyday the old man could be seen established in his seat, while people hurried up and down obliviously trying to accomplish unknown missions of their routine life. The non-fecund actions of this accursed humanity made them go round and round in a circle like the beast turning the Persian-wheel. While humanity milled around this Tolstoy, he would be engrossed in his love. Around him, surrounding him and on him would be a loving group of wild pigeons, cooing to him affectionately and snuggling close to him open heartedly. They would eat out of his hands the food he brought for them everyday. May be his existence did not register with many of the people who routinely crossed this street everyday, or may be they thought of him as and old crank. Well it did not matter what people thought of him or if he did not exist for them. It was an indictment of contemporary civilization. Human life has become much mechanical-time propelled. As a result, the feelings, which are the finer silk web of human meaning and essence, have ceased to exist. Elena and I would often watch this wonderful specimen of humanity. Elena photographed our Tolstoy and published a moving image in a Viennese journal. People ran after newer models of limousines; they no longer ran after butterflies in the forest. I remember how returning from school I would chase butterflies. They settled on flowers and as I advanced stealthily, they would flutter away. It did not matter if I could catch them; I was delighted to observe their beautiful, designer wings and their intensity while drinking nectar from the fragrant wild flowers. When I pass through crowded streets of Vienna, I still look for my childhood butterflies. May be one day I will find them and would whisper to them once again as I used to as a child.

Elena had been telling me about her last assignment covering a war in Africa. How something changed permanently in her soul when she observed so much futility and hatred among humans who have but a temporary stay on earth. That is the story of human civilization all through the ages. We have finished our coffee and after paying the bill, we walk out on the street. It is early evening and the light is still good but beautifully soft. Aimlessly we move in the city feeling the warmth of flourishing life. The neon lights are slowly taking over as we take a promenade by the Danube. The reflected city in the Danube water looks like a genie emerging from the lamp. The eternal river of Europe, its fertile soil, its life sustaining water sustained humans and animals alike for thousands of years. It has become symbolic of confluence of people and cultures. A collage of large humanity finding its moorings in Vienna of eternal Danube; Asia, Africa, Latin America with myriad cultural cameos come to fertilize the social and cultural landscape of Vienna. This humanity carries a memory of the golden land from where they self-exiled like the gypsies, to which they probably would never return. Nevertheless, the land would continue to flourish in their soul and small icons unfurl fragrant memories and exist side by side their life in Vienna. On their visits back to the land of their past they bring tokens of cultural memory to sustain them in their exile—an exile of voluntary choice. Humans create webs of memory to fall back on, whether its separation from the beloved person or from the land of their forefathers. This is the beauty of human resilience. To eliminate this missing, this lack, this absence, this unwilled silence they create a new reality in the recesses of their souls. This is the fountain of all creativity—to bridge the lack, the missing by inner dynamism; the writers, the poets, the painters, actors, singers etc. use this angst to live and to create flowers of extreme beauty. Eternal Vienna, the forever city for arts as also for the exiles! However, all artists are exiles, self-exiles. Their search for precious pearls makes them cast their nets wider, deeper, and in distant lands of their souls. The city taught me a lot about humans, humanity, art, artists, freedom, and suffocation. You always take some character of the city you live in for long, in your own personality. I have become a mini Vienna in part of my being—with its idiosyncrasies, moods, frivolities, and its rainbow coloured cultural cameos. When I move away from the city, stronger it asserts its fragrance in me, but remains imperceptible, taken for granted presence, in its dazzling lights when I dine with it everyday. It is as if when in Vienna, I ask for Turkish coffee and when in Istanbul, Viennese coffee. Yes, it feels tastier!

Exile, even temporary has it own nostalgic fragrance. Some years back I travelled to Poland, where in the musical city of Krakow, I met a poet from India, who had arrived dusty-time back in Poland to study engineering. On way to earn his degree in engineering, he also earned the love of a sunshine-bright Polish girl. He married her and raised a happy family. He invited me to visit his family. In the house, I saw a small Ganesha sculpture, pictures of Indian gods, sandalwood incense, an old map of his city in India and music from his growing up period in India. He had a daily ritual of offering incense to gods. He told me that he was not particularly religious but as a child, he used to observe his mother worship everyday and light incense. He indulged in this ritual not from force of faith but because it brought him the pleasant nostalgic feeling for his childhood. He played for me Indian songs he grew up with in India; they were like memory tracks for him. There were different happenings associated with different songs. Joy and sorrows were etched on the chronology of songs as he listened to them. Memories of the time flooded him as he had raced to adulthood from his child's world. His autobiography was written in music and songs. He narrated to me the incidents related to some songs. For example when his younger sister was born, a particular song had become popular and he would listen to it on radio. I realized… we are all exiles in one way or the other. Our exiles help us to fashion from shadows of past the most beautiful sunshine landscapes. Upasak – for that was the name of the poet—presented to me a collection of his poems. When I read the poems soft as the fluffy clouds, shiny as the sun-kissed dewdrops and beautiful as a little baby, my heart cries. It cries for Upasak’s beautiful soul that travels to his Indian abode collecting fragrance of blooming mustard flowers, of wet earth in Monsoon rains or the aroma of lentils cooked by his mother and a thousand other fragrances, aromas, colours, tastes and sights. That meeting changed something in me. I did not realize what or in what way. I understood better the tales of gypsy kings and the lost lands of honey and happiness that my mother talked about in her magical tales of yore.

After a pleasant walk by Donau— Danube for you—I kissed Elena goodnight and departed towards home. Home to where we belong.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


My father spent long periods on sea and brought for me beautiful gifts of toys and dolls from far off lands, which I did not know about. He would narrate mesmerizing tales of people from cultures so different and wonderful. I related to my father’s tales the way I did to my mother’s—with awe and wonder. They were real for me. They are real for children, for the children do not distinguish between apparent-reality and inner-reality of the world from where all the magic of imagination cascades.

From his travels, my father brought another gift. It was his cooking recipes from different lands. He loved to cook food from different parts of the world. His recipes were exotic and his dishes exuded strong aroma. When I think of my father, there is always an association of aroma and taste of food and his apron-clad image in the kitchen. He brought condiments, herbs, and spices from those far away lands. I recall he would often make a salad with pumpkinseed oil. Pumpkin oil dressing for kidney bean salads is a specialty of the culinary culture of Styria. Father’s love for different cultures mixed with his love for his land; this was so as far as his interest in food was concerned.

Sometimes we would go out to a small town not far from home to buy provisions. One shop in particular I remember. A Turkish family ran it. The old proprietor was large and moustachioed; his two sons assisted him in the shop. Sometimes his wife would also come to the shop. She had a large scarf tied to her head. She had a daughter of my age. She would talk to me in German and with her mother in Turkish. I was awed that she could talk something I did not understand. I would be welcomed along with my parents. The old man would talk to me and offer some candy. He would talk to my father about his journeys. They would also talk about Turkey; my father had travelled to Turkey many times, was quite familiar with the culture of the country, its food, and especially famous Turkish kebabs. The old Turk came from the Mediterranean region of Turkey, which had a history from as early as eight century B.C. when Hittites civilization flourished in the region known for long as Asia Minor. It was during World War-I that his father fought alongside Germany and later settled in Austria. Sometimes Ahmed Bey –the old Turk would visit his relatives in Anatolian region. His ancestral village was not far from Side, which was a scenic port in ancient Pamphylia. He would tell my father how the whole region is replete with ancient ruins and its rich heritage over thousands of years of wonderful history. Sometimes he would play haunting Anatolian music. I really liked the music and especially the sound of string instrument called Balma. I wonder how even as exiles we bring rich cultural tradition and enrich other cultures. All through human history society and civilization was enriched through such intercourse.

I imbibed all the interactions between father and Ahmed Bey subconsciously. Later in life, they would fuel my interest in the lovely land and music of Turkey. Meanwhile I was happy to have such outings to the town, for they presented new vistas to my life and existence. After finishing shopping usually, we would dine in traditional inns known as Buchenshenken, relishing local delicacies of roast pork, smoked sausages, cheese, the special verhakert— minced meat and sausage spread, and the usual snitzels. While I inevitably had juice, my parents washed down the delicious dishes with schicher, the famous wine from Schilderland in western Styria.

Time flowed like the water in Mur. I am in Vienna, enjoying coffee with Elena in Café Central. I like to come here. It is the custom of the restaurant to serve brown nut cookies with coffee. This custom goes back to half a century. The building housing the Café has a long history, as is the case with all of Vienna. It is more than a hundred year old and served at different times as a warehouse and bank; the façade is beautiful and invites you to enter the building. Arches create dainty waves in the main hall of the restaurant, the ceiling is cupola shaped, and polished ornate pillars divide the space. Large windows admit Viennese daylight freely. From high ceiling hang lamps by long chains to be effective for customers to see each other in the soft light. Just as you enter, by the main door there is a reclining sculpture of a famous Viennese writer who fancied this restaurant and was a regular here. The owners installed his sculpture to make him a guest—through day and night. The writer is now permanently reclining in a chair by the entrance and appraises every visitor to the restaurant. It is so surrealistic that you may think some one real is in the chair. I also like the waiters here; they are handsome, suave and very polite. The one serving us has wide forehead and light, dreamy eyes. He could be a poet in the making and may be one day will have a sculpture dedicated to his memory. Some of the waiters can have with you discussion on latest in art, literature, opera and music. It is a city of culture-dreamers.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"I create Rainbows from the White purity of the Infinite"

The series is inspired by Autmn sensibilities
Acrylic on canvas
$4500 each

Fragrance of Autumn-1
The series is inspired by Autmn sensibilities
Acrylic on canvas
A very long time back I lived and painted on an old boat anchored on Danube near Black sea in Romania. It was autumn and the landscape was a passionate rust, crimson and yellow ochre. It was magical to say the least. I was in communion with the landscape. At other times I would breathe in the autumn landscapes of Europe in Finland, Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and Poland, Styria in Austria, Alpine Piedmonte in Italy, France, and Hungry.The senses are seduced by the proliferating warm colours as the leaves turn from cool green to life red, rust, brick, yellow-ochre, brown colours. Something happens to soul, it starts to sing, is inundates by a dazzling warmth and pleasantness. Autumn used as a metaphor run to life as well as death. Poets often use the negative metaphor but for visual artists autumn is the great celebration of the festival of colours of joy. By a quirky association I relate the red beard of Vincent Van Gogh in his famous self portrait (1887) to the red of autumn.But is not the autumn the surfeit of rejuvenation. Do we not talk of the birth death rebirth cycle? Is the Resurrection of Jesus not an emblem of continuity of life and hope? So why be afraid of death? Paul Laurence Dunbar looks at autumn as a celebration and reason of joy—The earth is just so full of fun
It really can't contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don't talk to me of solemn days
In autumn's time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Viktor Vijay

Fragrance of Autumn-1
Dealt in splash-dot style I have developed this technique in 2003-4 while satying and working in Salzburg, Austria in my friend Eva Mazucco's atelier

Song of Eternal
Victor Vijay's artLife is a search of what is beyond, subtle, symbolic. Human imagination finds its great escalation and unfolding in Nature. Cosmos and Nature subsumes the human as an interpolation of itself. It is the holistic presence of Nature that underlies dazzling beauty that provokes human joy. The pastoral invoked the serenity of Nature but then nature unleashes more. Nature evokes awe and cosmic mysteries. Moods of Nature in its pristine glory nudge our senses into the unfamiliar domains of emotions. Nature seeds unfathomed feelings and magic.Victor Vijay is not searching for the ephemeral in Nature. His art does not capture moods of Nature rather he rejoices in the symbolism, intuitiveness and feelings that Nature distils. His paintings are not about descriptive elements of Nature. He paints the flow of feelings that emerge as you confront Nature. Thus out of the necessity of his chosen expression his art has to be abstract. He abstains from cerebral details and dwells in the feelings that lace inner happiness. He is a shepherd in the Pastoral invoking through his whispering art the romance of Eternal more like Christopher Marlowe—Come live with me and be my love,And we will all the pleasures proveThat valleys, groves, hills, and fields,Woods or steepy mountains yields.This artist does not expand on the individual, he evokes a mood of yearning, a desire to be in the comforting lap of Mother Nature. His art is not into naming, describing, it is more into feeling. Victor speaks through the enveloping silence in his paintings. Gerard Manley Hopkins is what the artist echoes—And beat upon my whorled ear,ELECTED Silence, sing to mePipe me to pastures still and beThe music that I care to hearVictor’s paintings are the poetics of the blooming soul. In them is the desire to express the inexpressible; in the moment he searches the eternal. Through his paintings he is trying not to posit Nature as a physical entity but he provokes to awaken the inner vision so that we can hear the SONG OF ETERNAL.
The Magic of Creation

we are not what we appear but what appears from us. A new way to look at art. Life is beautiful for we have a sense of beauty. it is this which is the highest form of human craving. this is nirvana or as Abrham Maslow said it is self actualization. This blogg is engendered to look for revealation of aesthetic in paintings, sculptures and kindred expressions in the contemporary, modern and historical so that we gift a heritage for future mankind.

Publication:Times of India Mumbai;Date:Sep 14, 2007;Section:Whats Hot;Page Number:52—(Viktor) Vijay Kumar is Director and Curator (India, Asia) of European Artists Association Velbert Essen Germany. He has been honoured with the best painter award by Sahitya Kala Parishad. His Medium: Vijay’s works are characterised by internal spontaneity and vibrancy. Employing the raw energy of colours—playing with light and shade, warm and cool tones, making marks like heart-rhythms—his paintings are visually fascinating and psychologically compelling. They resonate with an extraordinary force, incredible sensorial richness and intense symbolic and emotive value. His Style: Vijay’s paintings are mostly abstract and nonrepresentational. Pulsating with organic energy, his paintings like ‘Celebration’, ‘Passion Of Red’ and ‘Evolution Of Man’ captivate spectators with their spontaneity and emotional intensity

Journey of an Artist
by Viktor vijay

I was born in southern part of Austria in the province of Styria. My parents named me Petra. My mother was a gypsy from Poland and father Austrian. Father was a sailor who met my mother while holidaying in Tatras in south-eastern Poland. He saw her in a village pub where farmers gathered after the day’s work in fields. Carefree laughter floated in the pristine mountain land; over glasses of beer tales from grandfathers’ time would be recounted, heroics from Polish wars remembered and the rustic beauty of this sun-kissed and wind swept hardy landscape would reflect in the faces of these simple folks. It was here that my father fell in love. He saw her in the pub enjoying her beer with some friends. He went over to her and asked her name. But she laughed; she laughed with her radiant eyes and her dark hair floated in the fresh mountain air. She was dressed in vibrant, colourful clothes, as is the custom with gypsies all over Europe. She carried in her the freedom of bohemian winds and cascading music of mountain rivers flowing from Tatras. Rather my mother was the sensuous, heady wind that blew across valleys, forests, houses and barns, villages and vales. She was freedom itself. It was this overflowing being of my mother that my father found so enchanting and different from what a settled life breeds in a person with permanent weight of attachment to people and places. It is the freedom from the fear of tomorrow when a person moves all the time, every moment every day is free and fresh as the first dewdrops in the morning. Life is a renewal every moment. He married my mother in the village church and celebrated marriage feast with the villagers. My father returned from his vacation with his bride. He settled her in the beautiful valley in Styria where he had a house, which he inherited from his grandfather’s brother. The house was built with logs and wood from the forest around the house. My father also owned the forest; being part of his inheritance. The house was an old one and had beautiful, carved front door with strange images and symbols. Inside the living room on walls were hanging wooden icons, landscape paintings, and old sea maps from the Habsburg period. My grandfather was also a sailor and Austria had a seaport then in Trieste. Lace curtains covered the windows, which women knitted with their own hands as was common in these parts. There were four chairs and a large sofa covered with bearskins and a heavy carved walnut table. Bookshelf stood in one corner stacked with old, yellowed, and yellowing books. There were two large comfortable bedrooms on first floor, furnished with spacious comfortable wooden beds. The bedrooms had a fantastic view of the forest and the valley. Rising sun would bathe the valley in soft crimson yellow, the birds would soar, singing; thus the chaste morning would herald a dew-fresh new day. The kitchen was large and comfortable. A big wood-fired stove, erected in the middle helped circulate warm air in the harsh winter. A mahogany dining table stood closer to the wall surrounded by eight chairs. It was here that my mother baked her first fresh bread after her marriage and cooked for her husband and for us later when I arrived.
It was a beautiful land—rolling hills, sensuous, fragrant valleys, exquisite sunsets, white winters, warm summers, scintillating springs and brown ochre romantic autumns. It was a land where love grew in the form of fragrant linden flowers; flowing brooks, singing canaries, jingling bells, nature composed music—as cows grazed in the lush meadows and virginal winds kissed endearingly every blade of grass, every flower in bloom and every leaf of tree.
It was in this fecund land that I was born to my mother. In the nature's nursery here, my childhood was nursed. It was here that I played with squirrels and birds, collected wild flowers, raced with the winds, watched fishes gambol in streams, and learnt my lessons about colours from changing seasons. In winters by the stove, my mother would tell me tales of gypsy kings and her clan and far off lands from where they were forced to flee, many centuries back. That land, she told me was in Asia and called Hindustan. It was a magical land and all gypsy tribes belonged to it. In her haunting, lilting voice, she would sing songs of yore while cooking or putting me to sleep. The songs were about brave kings and wars they fought, about lovers whose love could find no fulfilment, or about the land of ancestors, which overflowed with honey and riches. There was nostalgia, soft pain, and suffering. The tales celebrated the pain for the lost land. The reality of the land existed only in imagination. Imagination fed further imagination over centuries of exile and the land existed more as a feeling, as a thought, as an ideal in the hearts and minds of the people than as a reality out there. The changes in the external world did not affect, the land was safe from all dangers, as it existed inside the people. It was the Shangri La of soul—never ageing or changing. This is what I inherited from my mother—‘what exists inside remains constant, forever fresh, and young.’ Outside, mechanical time brings about physical changes and decay but the spiritual, inner time is forever the same. This is the eternal white lotus of soul. Much later, I would discover the roots of these thoughts in India.
From my mother I learnt to view things in a different magical way. She told that it is not the expanse but the core, the essence of things that we should understand and appreciate. The expanse creates illusions and is the cause of much of unhappiness in the world. The external world must collapse back in our inner kernel of being as a totality, as an infinite iota. We must first learn to open inside—outside will open automatically. My mother and Mother Nature were my teacher, guide, and friend. I would interact with stars as one does with a friend; fairies from my mother’s tales would descend from heavenly heights to play with me, the trees and flowers understood when I would talk to them and in turn I would relish what they told me.