Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jumpin Time

Longtime pallie Mark Cutler, the perpetual whiz kid, has gone and done it again. Besides recording and releasing (by my unscientific count) over 100 songs (a few of which I was invited to co-scribble) in outfits ranging, from The Schemers to the Raindogs to Useful Things to The Dino Club to solo stuffarama, making occasional forays into painting, tossing off the once-in-a-while comic strip he’s now contributed a cut to writer/producer Jimmy Gutterman’s The Sandinista Project, and also self-directed a cool little vid for one of his newest tunes “Jumpin’ Time.” (Hey Marky Mark, did you somehow get the key to reversing the aging process or what?) C’mon, give my fave rocknroll manchild a bit of yer time…

(By the way, keyboard whiz and all-around RI good guy Dickie Reed makes the cut in the August issue of Esquire, in the special section, the 7th Annual What It Feels Like, describing his regained hearing abilities.)


olafvancleef said...

If a good painter uses metallic paper and Swarovsky crystals on a cleverly woven abstract sketch, tosses in some gold leaf and gems too, and adds vibrant colours with dots, circles, snakes and elephants as motifs, he could create an eye-catching visual. And if he adds other jewellery items to this creation, it becomes an expensive work of art.

But if the person happens to be Mr Olaf Van Cleef from Paris, traveller, painter and author, and scion of the Van Cleef dynasty, who is also a staunch follower of Rishi Aurobindo, the effect can be electrifying.

Watching the paintings of Mr Olaf comes alive at the Galerie La Mere (at Aurobindo Institute in Kolkata), one can sense freedom of a different sort. Like what Coleridge said. "A picture is an intermediate something between a thought and a thing."

Speaking freedom

The works of Mr Olaf are truly `something' between his thoughts and this thing he calls unending love for India, and Kolkata in particular. Every single piece in the rich collection of over 50 odd "bejewelled fireflies" of Mr Olaf speak the same language - that of absolute freedom, symbolising the artist's tryst with India, and his unending search for its rich soul.

Talking to Business Line in Kolkata recently at the sidelines of an exhibition of his paintings, Mr Olaf spoke with passion about his tryst with Kolkata - a city with a soul, which fascinates him in so many different ways.

Says Mr Olaf, who is also advisor to Cartier on high jewellery:

"Dominique Lapierre's book on Kolkata left a disturbing impression on my mind. I wanted to see for myself the real Kolkata. And when I found it, it looked exactly as I had visualised. A city with a soul, clutching to its bosom everyone - the king and the beggar alike."


Describing the first exposure as mystifying, he feels Kolkata cannot be dismissed as just another crowded metropolis where you can get lost and never be found. "You can live the life of another person here, just as it was for me, free from the baggage of the illustrious Van Cleef family tag. It is the culture of this city which should be projected, not the land disputes".

Van Cleef art

At work on one of his special aquarelles (painting with thin water colours) in a suite at the Taj Bengal, Mr Olaf, wearing three glasses, one on top of another, tries to etch an intricate pattern on the white space. "I use a special micro-tip pen for this, and also need to select the papers with right grains, and use colours with the right pigments for that special Olaf touch."

Some of the dramatic pieces on display were the gold leaf Nandi with Swaro crystals, Jagannath gold leaf, Kali with Swaro crystals and Lady with the monkey, with Swarovsky crystals. The prices ranged between Rs 45,000 and Rs 50,000 each, which a local art bazaar expert said was cheap compared to the effort put in.

skylolo99 said...

Glad you liked the video.

Scotty D said...

Olaf, come see me as soon as possible, cuz I want just a touch of whatever you got, in fact I NEED just a touch. Glad you liked the vid also.