Baba Anand

21.03.2007 – 21.04.2007

Extract from the text by Jérôme Neutres, The Couture Art of Baba Anand, 75 Faubourg, Paris 2007

“Caskets of velvet and gilt: the setting is as important as the work itself. The works of Baba Anand are Pandora’s boxes in section, where real gods in fake jewellery coexist with the demigods of his childhood, their faces swimming in Swarovski crystal sequins amid foam hearts and artificial flowers. Raj Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bhachan and Krsna in every imaginable forms, but also the Mona Lisa with Krishna, the Moulin de la Galette in the Indian forest, and other combinations providing astonishing alchemical variations. Collages? “Collisions” Baba prefers to call them, Baba whose art is a permanent quest for the creative accident, for something “as beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella”, as the French poet Lautréamont once put it.

And was it not by chance that he became an artist? Baba began in the wold of fashion, and it was as he dressed people that he realised their world was not his, that there was another world to dress, one that fitted more closely with his inmost desires: the world os his childhood dreams, of the great sentimental films of his youth, of Bobby, Prince, Manoranjan, An evening in Paris. These objects of desire never left him, and they are still there, close to him in his room, in the form of posters and pictures from almanacs. Now he can work on them with his body and his hands, but free of the burden imposed by the fashion industry. “I like the expression ‘couture art’ for my work. In fact I’m still following my vocation as a fashion designer: it’s just that I only do made to measure now, and I only dress gods and film stars, not businessmen and diplomats”. He dresses the images he adores so as to pay tribute to them, the way one praises the gods by covering them with flowers and beads. He transforms objects to make them his own, just as the Hindu believer seeks to draw something of the divine into himself. The initial work breaks away from its creator and its purpose, and becomes the medium of expression for a subjectivity named Baba Anand. […]”