Waswo X Waswo with R.Vijay

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Waswo X Waswo with R.Vijay

Waswo X. Waswo is a traveller, poet and photographer born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His works are immediately accessible to the viewer while at the same time contain within them layers of meaning. Waswo poetically transfers narratives into rich and symbolic visuals and with the help of the skilled traditional painter R Vijay.

R. Vijay (born Rakesh Vijayvargiya), is the grandnephew of historic Rajasthani painter Ramgopal Vijayvargiya. Rakesh was tutored by traditional miniaturists Sukdev Singh Sisodiya and Laxmi Narayan Sikaligar.

The duo's fourteen-year long collaboration blends genres and plays intelligently on themes interwoven from history, colonialism, and contemporary identities. In the paintings, Waswo, as the bumbling protagonist who is observed and embraced by Indians, becomes the subject of the work. Issues of Otherness, and the transcendence of the same, becomes a focal point. Waswo and Vijay extend their visual vocabulary to a style reminiscent of Mughal Miniature Paintings, Mewar Court Miniatures, and The Company School. Their miniatures are multi-layered and dense in narrative, with exquisite detailing. Part confessional and part comical, these miniatures are semi-autobiographical, where Waswo’s persona as the white-skinned "fedora man" becomes both problematic and poignant.

The work and lives of both artists have become the subject of a book, The Artful Life of R. Vijay, by Annapurna Garimella [Foreword by Dr. Kavita Singh].

Gallery Espace exclusively represents the miniature paintings by these artists in India.

Waswo X. Waswo’s work is held in collections at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, USA; The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; The Museum of Art and Photography, Bangalore; DAG Modern; The William Benton Museum, USA, as well as others.

The artists live and work in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

 

Waswo X. Waswo

Born in 1953, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Lives and works in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

EDUCATION

2000

Studio Marangoni, The Center for Contemporary Photography-Florence, Italy

1983

Milwaukee Center for Photography, USA

1974

University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin, USA

R. VIJAY 

Born in 1970, Rajasthan, India

Lives and works in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

EDUCATION

Tutored by Traditional Miniaturists: Sukhdev Singh Sisodiva and Laxmi Narayan Sikaligar

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020

Bodies of Work, Gallery OED, Kochi

2019

Gauri Dancers, Amnavad ni Gufa, Ahmedabad

Like a Leaf in Autumn, Gallery Espace

2017

Ateliér v Rádžastáne , Central European House of Photography, Bratislava

2017

Photowallah, Tasveer/Tarq, Mumbai

2016

Photowallah, Tasveer/National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

Photowallah, Tasveer/Exhibit 320, New Delhi

2015

Waswo X. Waswo: Photographs, Gallerie Minsky, Paris

Confessions of an Evil Orientalist, Obscura Festival of Photography, Penan

A Day in the Country, Indigo Blue Art, Singapore, 2015

2014

Sleeping through the Museum, Official Collateral Project of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale

retro-spective, Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata

Hanuman – New Myths, Serindia Gallery Annex, Bangkok

Sleeping through the Museum, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

2013

Tinted by Tradition, Indigo Blue Art, Singapore

2012

May Be Removed at Will, Alliance Francaise de Delhi

2011

Confessions of an Evil Orientalist, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
Tinted by Tradition, City Palace Museum, Udaipur
The Men of Rajasthan, Serindia Gallery, Bangkok

2010

New Myths, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai
A Studio in Rajasthan, Coromandel Art Gallery, Pondicherry

2009

A Studio in Rajasthan, Galleria Joyce, Genoa, Italy
A Studio in Rajasthan, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi

2008

A Studio in Rajasthan, Kashi Art Gallery, Cochin

2007

India Poems: The Photographs of Waswo X Waswo, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, USA
India Poems: The Photographs, Kashi Art Cafe, Cochin

2006

India Poems: The Photographs, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai
Photographs by Waswo X. Waswo, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai

2005

Waswo X. Waswo Photographs, Preservation Gallery, Milwaukee, USA

2004

India Poems: The Photographs of Waswo X. Waswo, West Zone Cultural Center, Udaipur
India Poems: The Photographs of Waswo X. Waswo, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai

2003

India Poems: The Photographs, travelling exhibition at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Alliance Francaise de Goa, Alliance Francaise de Colombo and Alliance Francaise de Kandy, Sri Lanka

2002

Near & Far: Photographs by Waswo X. Waswo and Phil Fisher, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, USA

1999

Travels: Michael Koppa / Waswo X. Waswo, The Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019

Cartography of Narratives, Latitude 28 at Bikaner House, New Delhi

BODY, Shanghumugham Art Museum, Thiruvananthapuram

2018

Babur ki Gai, Latitude 28, New Delhi

Laughing in the Vernacular, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 2017

2017

50/50 – Photography to Digital Imaging and Back, Birla Academy of Arts and Culture, Kolkata

Culture of the Streets, Aicon Gallery, New York

2016

Morphology of the Archive, Museum of Goa (MOG), Goa

2015

Waswo X. Waswo / Pietro PietromarchiGallery Minsky, Paris

Excavation / Eruption, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

2014

My Sweet Lord, Gallery 1×1, Dubai

2013

All You Need is Love, Mori Museum of Art, Tokyo
When High and Low Art Meet: A Tribute to Ravi Varma, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
Convergence: New Art from India and the Diaspora, William Benton Museum of Art, USA
Tagore Lost and Found, Art Konsult, New Delhi

2012

pREpellers, Gallery Art & Soul, Chennai

2011

Staging Selves: Power, Performativity and Portraiture, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai
Fabular Bodies: New Narratives in the Art of the Miniature, Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

2010

Darmstadt Tage der Fotografie, Darmstadt, Germany

2009

Lo Real Maravilloso: Marvelous Reality, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
The Calendar Art Project, Apparao Gallery, New Delhi

2004

Gallery Artists, Barefoot Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka

2001

Winter Juried Exhibition, Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, USA

1999

Gallery Artists, Lakeshore Gallery, Shorewood, Wisconsin, USA

1998

Flash to Trash, Artcentric Gallery, Milwaukee, USA

1997

The Eye of the Camera, Ward Nasse Gallery, New York

1995

Interplay, Galleria del Conte, Milwaukee, USA

ART FAIRS

2014

s-e-p-a-r-a-t-i-o-n-s, solo booth sponsored by Gallery Espace, India Art Fair

PUBLICATIONS

2019

Gauri DancersMapin

2017

Photowallah, Tasveer

2015

The Artful Life of R. Vijay, Serindia Contemporary

2011

Men of Rajasthan, Serindia Contemporary, Chicago

2007

A Three Megapixel Journal, Lulu
European Journal, Lulu

2006

India Poems: The Photographs, Gallerie Publishers, Mumbai

2004

India Poems, Seventy-five Poems by the American Photographer, Rooftop Vistas, USA

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Third Eye Photography: and Ways of Seeing, edited by Alka Pande, Speaking Tiger, 2019

Photography in India: From Archives to Contemporary Practice, edited by Aileen Blaney and Chinar Shah, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018

Pages of a Mind: Raja Ravi Varma Life And Expressions, Vaishnavi Ramanathan, Piramal Art Foundation, 2016

Positions, Asia Critique, Vol 24:2, edited by Tani Barlow, Duke University Press, 2016

Feeling Photography, edited by Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu, Duke University Press, 2014

Mein Schwules Auge #11, Rinaldo Hopf and Axel Schock, Konkursbuch Berlin, 2014

Positions, Asia Critique, Vol 20:1, edited by Tani Barlow, Duke University Press, 2012

Mein Schwules Auge #7, Rinaldo Hopf and Axel Schock, Konkursbuch Berlin, 2010

Leela, An Erotic Play of Verse and Art, Alka Pande, Harper-Collins India, 2009

Mein Schwules Auge #6, Rinaldo Hopf and Axel Schock, Konkursbuch Berlin, 2009

MEDIA ARTICLES

“Europeans are Going Through an Existential Crisis”, Forbes, November 2019

“Orientalists”, The Business Standard, October 2019

“The Enigmatic Opera”, Mint Lounge, October 2019

“The Book of Waswo”, India Today, October 2019

“Capturing the Ethereal Luminosity of India”, VAMP, April 2019

“La File Indienne, Tous les Jours Curreux”, Des Photos et Des Mots, June 2018

“The Wonderful World of Waswo”, J’aipur Journal, Issue 1, 2018

“Studio at Varda: Memories of a Visit”, Art & Deal, February 2017

“Art in Dark Times: Waswo X. Waswo’s Chaos in the Palace”, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, December 2016

“Whimsical Look at Everyday India”, Straits Times, May 2015

“Errors of Omission”, The Hindustan Times, May 2014

“Diorama Dialogue”, Time Out, May 2013

“The Eye of the Beholder”, The Caravan, June 2012

“Intimately”, Photo Art Contemporary, December 2012

“Confessions of an Evil Orientalist”, Take on Art, 2012

“Local Discourse and its Discontents”, Art India, 2012

“The Role of Roles in Waswo X. Waswo’s “Confessions of an Evil Orientalist”, ArtSlant, 2011

“Men of Rajasthan”, Photo Art Contemporary, March 2011

“A Tribute to the Truth”, The Nation (Thailand), February 2011

“Hand-coloured and Framed”, Bangkok Post, January 2011

“Posed Modern”, Time Out, 2011

“Re-claiming Territories, Mutating Narratives”, Art & Deal, 2010

“Framing Questions”, Art India, 2010

“The Raja’s New Clothes”, The Times of India, 2010

“Miniature as Style”, Living magazine, 2009

“India’s Growing Middle Class becomes more Invested in Art”, The Washington Post, 2009

“New Avatar for Indian Art”, SPAN magazine, December 2009

“Waswo Captures Images of Indian Rural Life”, (radio interview), Voice of America, 2009

“India Poems: The Photographs, Editor’s Choice”, Atlas, June 2007

“Snapshots of Survival”, The Sunday Herald, April 2007

“I, Me, Myself (self-portraits by photographers)”, Verve Magazine, March 2007

“Tattered Songs of Sorrow and Bliss”, The Telegraph, Calcutta, March 2007

“Lyrical Images”, The Hindu, January 7, 2007

“India in Images”, The Hindustan Times, October 2006

“India Poems”, Better Photography, March 2006

“Ah India”, The Times Journal of Photography, February 2006

This Occidental Tourist Doesn’t Want to be an Outsider”, The Indian Express, February 2006

COLLECTIONS

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

William Benton Museum of Art, USA

Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bangalore

DAG Modern

Sarmaya Foundation, New Delhi

Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum, USA

The Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, UK

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