Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rock the Cradle! Bal des Berceaux 2006

supporting children's causes
for sixty-five years!

Bal des Berceaux in New York Social Diary:
2004 (scroll down)
2006 (scroll down)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nepali VIdeos

Rally in NYC in support of the "Nepali Revolution"
(see NYC Rally Video)

After Dr. Karan Singh's visit to Nepal, starting April 19, five days into the Bikram Sambat or Baisakhi New Year, King Gyanendra issued a message to his nation on Friday, announcing his intention to transfer exceutive power to a seven party coalition government pursuant to Article 35 in their Constitution of 1990, but curfews are being ignored as protests continue. Among other shortfalls, Gyanendra has not revoked Article 127 of the Constitution, which gives the monarch means to oust an elected government.

Here's a short list of links to recent articles, blogosphere sources and Google videos.

The Hindu, April 23

Himal Editor Kanak Mani Dixit, writing from prison, in Outlook India

full coverage in The Hindustan Times

BBC News on April 23

Nepal Highlights video

Democracy for Nepal (blogspot)

Prakash Poudel (above, right) sings Paicha Paicha-- rap video in Nepali

Pin Plan videos

Dendi Sherpa Metok Thangbo video

The Rising Nepal (right wing)

United We Blog for a Democratic Nepal

Pratyush Chandra in CounterPunch

From Hindustan Times on 4/25:

"NEPAL’S KING Gyanendra, in a televised address to the nation late on Monday, agreed to reinstate parliament and called its session on Friday. Coming a day ahead of the massive rally called in Kathmandu by the Seven-Party Alliance, the announcement is a key concession for the pro-democracy forces. Sources said the SPA may accept the revival of parliament as its members could then constitute a constituent assembly to amend the 1990 Constitution and remove Article 127, which gives the king the right to dismiss elected governments."

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fib 55




and forsythia-

magnolia trees in full bloom!

tints, tones and shades of bark, recent winter’s camouflage,

and sharp tracery of bud branches remind me that my word painter and light painter
are flown an enormous blue sky from here…. for springtime solace, I resolve upon the ineluctable brilliance of unseen logic!

--thanks to gottabook (gottabook) and sepia mutiny's anna and abhi

grass from, pear from, cherry from Virginia's Garden, daffodils from Archie Miles, forsythia from, magnolia tree from R3Photography, bark from, budding branches from , sky from

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Horrible People at High Speeds

Last Thursday, Helene Golay threw one of her hallmark book signing cocktail parties at The Corner Bookstore, an established tradition in Carnegie Hill, providing authors with a reliable draw of devoted readers, high grade mixed nuts and other literati. This party, for master cartoonist Edward Sorel and his latest gem, Literary Lives, went by at the pace of power networking or speed dating.

After signing several copies, Mr. Sorel announced that he was required to speak, and delivered some pithy remarks covering the topics of the hour: why The Atlantic Monthly? (better print quality); why not Balzac? (too sad and mushy for this book);Photo of Honoré de Balzac from Free Public Domain Books

and a sample exposé about how nasty was George Elliot, aka Mary Ann Evans of Warwickshire. In a pinch, Mrs. Sorel reminded her husband of the family name of the unfortunate juvenile (Cross), who, being publicly identified on honeymoon as George Elliot's son rather than her husband -- soon after the death of her first

Picture of George Elliot from
Christian Theological Seminary live-in innamorata and agent (somebody else's husband) and that of her good friend, his Mama -- tried to jump to his own death in the Grand Canal in Venice (too shallow), but was fished out and made to live happily enough for a while longer if not ever after, then to proclaim forever after in print that his brief marriage to this overbearing woman twice his age had been a veritable sojourn in paradise.

A flash question and answer session ensued. Someone piped up with the top question to end all answers: "Where do you get your ideas?"
Without hesitation, Mr. Sorel demurred, saying the correct question to ask was, 'Why do such horrible people create great works of art?'
Photo of Lillian Hellman from
Perspectives in American Literature
There are at least three ways to read Literary Lives. One can either go through the astounding synopses of the disastrous personal tales of Tolstoy, Yeats, Ayn Rand, Proust, Lillian Hellman Norman Mailer et al. (what about John Updike?) as quick as the cocktail party at The Corner Bookstore, or examine the delicate yet pointed wit of the drawings, and indeed the subtleties of the layouts, for hours, days and weeks, or first do the one and then the other, which is my own preferred method. One can also go and see the originals at the Davis & Langdale Gallery at 231 E 60th Street through April 22.

Photo of Leo Tolstoy from

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Contemporary Indian Masters at Auction

It is an irony that custodians of art can make so much more money from a given work than the artist. Yet custodianship entails work of another sort, and both the creator's and the collector's credibility are eventually measured at least as much by coin as by any other calculation. With the emergence of Indian

Tyeb Mehta
- from modern and contemporary art in international sales, the rise in returns has been steep, lately, if a long time coming. Now, quite suddenly, it feels as if every fan of Desi art just won a quinella.

Building on the success
late mid-century horse - M.F. Hussain of last fall's auctions, two sales held last week - at Sotheby's on Wednesday and at Christie's on Thursday- together kicked off what will become regularly scheduled sales of Modern and Contemporary Indian paintings in New York. As almost everyone knows by now, almost every lot at both auctions outperformed all expectations. It was heartening to watch as it happened.

The morning sale on Wednesday at Sotheby's was well attended, with many CIOs (that's Collectors of Indian Origin) in attendance. I spotted a few familiar faces, with and without paddles, and the phones were fairly busy while Tobias Meyer applied his cool and cordial wit and swift gavel. Hussain and Souza were well represented, and consistently exceeded expectations, though not by as much as Satish Gujral, or Ram Kumar or Shinde. Tyeb Mehta’s Falling Bird went for $1.248,000, and Syed Hyder Raza’s Tapovan fetched $1.472,000.

Jamini Roy's mohila from

The next afternoon, the more enclosed saleroom at Christie’s (Rockefeller Center) was packed, and the phones a hotbed of activity. A larger number of works on offer in the mid-priced range seemed to reflect a quirkier Triptych by Anjolie Ela Menon aesthetic, all going forward in a more jocund and familiar atmosphere with more Indian experts and specialists involved, and Hugo Weihe’s merry brogue lending a
festive note to the
ings.The Souzas
and Hussains spanned more periods, and the Bengal schools were better represented,
including Ganesh Pyne's moonlit cow from Ganesh Pyne and Shyamal Dutta-Ray. A mixed media work by the reclusive Vasudeo Gaitonde went for $1,472,000.

"This sale is hot," said a former Spence mom, now working at Christie's. One young woman who had flown in from Miami said, "I'm in sticker shock!" A middle-aged lady mused, "Now I can tell my mother exactly why she shouldn't sell her Satish Gujrals just yet." Another woman, who had collected contemporary
Indian art since she was sixteen and had come from China for the sale, noted with satisfaction, "I'm a multimillionaire now."

Sunil Das' motion sketch from

But as Jolly Lolly of Tolly once noted in another context, “For what it is, that’s a song.”

Paritosh Sen's "kal katta" masalchi from

Syed Haider Raza (read interview from Outlook India )

Vijay Shinde

Except where noted, the images here are from SPEAR Art Museum.
Sotheby's makes catalogues of past sales available online, while Christie's sells only print editions of their catalogues.