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Kochar Webist Vijaybhai

Webist Vijaybhai Kochar
in India


10 Artworks - View all artworks »

I am 72 years old from Hindu family of north India settled in Hyderabad. I believe in a universal 'religion of man-in-nature' that transcends the narrow limits of physical world into the world of sublime -- realm of beauty, love, social-good; and the eternal energy of creation, progression and destruction.

I was fond of painting from childhood. I joined Kalabhavan (Fine Arts College) at Tagore's university at Santiniketan in 1951 but after some time I was shifted to graduate school due to family compulsions. At Santiniketan from 1951 to 1957, first as a student and then as a schoolteacher, I was closely associated with painting and sculpture as a part-time student of the College of Fine Arts.

I lost touch with art after entering a long academic career in social science. I spent time whole-heartedly for research and teaching at five different universities. I retired as Professor of sociology from Central University, Hyderabad in 1994.

Towards the end of my professional career I became familiar with MS-Paint and WinWord based graphic programme. Between 1992 and 1995 I played with elementary graphic software. These were largely line-based drawings filled with uniform shades of colour. From 1996 onward I started seriously creating compositions - largely in the mould of conventional fine art akin to Bengal School. Gradually I have improved and diversified my use of digital tools.

With some 50 odd paintings first I exhibited at my studio VISIONS. In 2002 I held my first one-man show of about 70 odd paintings at DAIRA Centre for Art and Culture, Hyderabad. There were some reviews in the local papers and magazines (which can be seen on my site).

For someone who had close encounter with fine art at a young age, coming back to painting on full time basis was an enjoyable homecoming. Working with mouse in front of PC monitor is not the same thing as working with brush on canvas and physically mixing and applying colors. After initial trials and hesitations it was surprising to discover that digital medium of fine art is far more rich and compact than the conventional medium. A variety of treatments and effects can be created (or altered) much more easily on the digital canvas than on a physical canvas. Maintaining originality and artistic quality in digital art requires controlled or disciplined use of software tools, or, as Pygoya will say, by going beyond the limits of software. Flexibility can also mislead to arbitrariness that peeps through the work. In fact digital medium gives greater power of creation and aesthetic refinement than the conventional art techniques. It gives greater freedom, greater flexibility, greater variety and greater depth. I started with line based figurative and nature compositions but now settled in abstract compositions. I begin with my original compositions in Painter and rework them in Photopaint and/or Photoshop. I have so far worked in 2D format only. I have not used photographs or scanned images so far....



Articles

I am 72 years old from Hindu family of north India settled in Hyderabad. I believe in a universal 'religion of man-in-nature' that transcends the narrow limits of physical world into the world of sublime -- realm of beauty, love, social-good; and the eternal energy of creation, progression and destruction.

I was fond of painting from childhood. I joined Kalabhavan (Fine Arts College) at Tagore's university at Santiniketan in 1951 but after some time I was shifted to graduate school due to family compulsions. At Santiniketan from 1951 to 1957, first as a student and then as a schoolteacher, I was closely associated with painting and sculpture as a part-time student of the College of Fine Arts.

I lost touch with art after entering a long academic career in social science. I spent time whole-heartedly for research and teaching at five different universities. I retired as Professor of sociology from Central University, Hyderabad in 1994.

Towards the end of my professional career I became familiar with MS-Paint and WinWord based graphic programme. Between 1992 and 1995 I played with elementary graphic software. These were largely line-based drawings filled with uniform shades of colour. From 1996 onward I started seriously creating compositions - largely in the mould of conventional fine art akin to Bengal School. Gradually I have improved and diversified my use of digital tools.

With some 50 odd paintings first I exhibited at my studio VISIONS. In 2002 I held my first one-man show of about 70 odd paintings at DAIRA Centre for Art and Culture, Hyderabad. There were some reviews in the local papers and magazines (which can be seen on my site).

For someone who had close encounter with fine art at a young age, coming back to painting on full time basis was an enjoyable homecoming. Working with mouse in front of PC monitor is not the same thing as working with brush on canvas and physically mixing and applying colors. After initial trials and hesitations it was surprising to discover that digital medium of fine art is far more rich and compact than the conventional medium. A variety of treatments and effects can be created (or altered) much more easily on the digital canvas than on a physical canvas. Maintaining originality and artistic quality in digital art requires controlled or disciplined use of software tools, or, as Pygoya will say, by going beyond the limits of software. Flexibility can also mislead to arbitrariness that peeps through the work. In fact digital medium gives greater power of creation and aesthetic refinement than the conventional art techniques. It gives greater freedom, greater flexibility, greater variety and greater depth. I started with line based figurative and nature compositions but now settled in abstract compositions. I begin with my original compositions in Painter and rework them in Photopaint and/or Photoshop. I have so far worked in 2D format only. I have not used photographs or scanned images so far.

Within a short span of eight years from 1996-2004 I have completed more than 700 digital paintings. I have traveled a long distance, which I would have probably taken more than 20 yeas as a conventional artist

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MUSINGS OF A DIGITAL ARTIST

For someone who had close encounters with fine art at a young age, coming back to painting on full time basis is an enjoyable homecoming. Working with mouse in front of PC monitor is not the same thing as working with brush on canvas and physically mixing and applying colors. After initial trials and hesitations it was surprising to discover that digital medium of painting is no barrier to giving shape to images and ideas.

Towards the end of my professional career I became familiar with MS-Paint and WinWord based graphic programmes. Between 1992 and 1996 I played with elementary graphic software. These were largely line-based drawings filled with uniform shades of colour. From 1996 onward I started seriously creating compositions - largely in the mould of conventional fine art akin to Bengal school. Gradually I have improved and diversified my use of digital tools and created some 400 digital paintings.

I like to play with colour, composition, design and effects. Some paintings take shape spontaneously in a limited number of sittings. Others take lot of labour. I suppose unique individualized 'style' comes naturally from experience, maturity and control over the medium. I am still exploring and learning. For some reason much smaller number of digital artists have successfully evolved their unique "style" in digital medium.

With some 50 odd paintings first I exhibited at my studio VISIONS. In 2002 I held my first one-man show of about 70 odd paintings at DAIRA Centre for Art and Culture, Hyderabad. There were some reviews in the local papers and magazines (which can be seen on this site). I have completed about 700 works now (March 2005).

I was given the honour of placement on the personal web sites of well-known digital artists like Pygoya(Rodney Chang) and Ingrid Kamerbeek. I was selected as Guest Artist on the renowned website of Museum of Computer Art (MOCA). My work has been selected for International Cyber-art Exhibition of 2003, being held at Hawaii, U.S.A.

The artistic quality is a unique combination of forms, colors, lines, design, rhythm and composition through which an artist gives shape to his/her visions. This quality is achievable in digital medium also. I believe, art is not in the medium or tools; it is in the mind and heart - if it there, it will show. Those with artistic sense will judge the appeal of artist's vision, not worry what medium or tool has been used.

As the artist and philosopher Larry Bloch said, "the artist chooses the media and the goal of every artist is to become fluent enough with the media to transcend it. At some point you pass from playing the piano to playing music." An art critic, Jarvis, says in defense of digital art, "Art is not about the tools used to make it; but in the organization of color, line, form, composition, rhythm and the interplay of all these in support of the subject matter or intent of the work itself. These are the basic and well-established tenets of visual art; as fundamental to digital artwork as to the cave paintings."

In some respects, the digital medium is more varied and flexible. A variety of treatments and effects can be created (or altered) much more easily on the digital canvas than on a physical canvas. Maintaining originality and artistic quality in digital art requires controlled or disciplined use of software tools. Or, as Pygoya will say, by going beyond the limits of software. Flexibility can also mislead to arbitrariness that peeps through the work. In fact digital medium gives greater power of creation and aesthetic refinement than the conventional art techniques. It gives greater freedom, greater flexibility, greater variety and greater depth. I tend to agree with a number of digital artists who have expressed spontaneity, pleasure, emotive appeal and compactness in working with digital medium.

There is one critical difference. Since digital creations ("originals") exist in computer's digital memory, the physical products are necessarily "prints". This gives greater choice in producing the physical output - choice of technology, choice of size, choice of numbers, choice of material, choice of texture, and even choice of variations in colour. The art lover can even interactively rework the output to one's choice. But these conditions associated with digital fine art cut deeply into authenticity, exclusiveness and value of digital art works in the conventional art market.

I like to share my works widely with artists and art-lovers. I look forward to comments and suggestions. Digital medium is ideally suited for worldwide sharing and exposure on the Internet. One does not depend upon spatially limited locations of exhibitions and galleries for exposure. For the same reason digital fine art has been ignored and even despised by the mainstream conventional art circles (magazines, galleries, collectors and critics). Digital medium breaks free from exclusive club of art appreciation and spills into the arena of popular culture. On one single web site more than 500 international visits were recorded for my 8 digital paintings in less than one-year period. And this is but a modest record.

Vijay Bhai
September 2003