Collection: Kashinath CHAWAN

Kashinath Chawan (1950, India) draws with a ballpoint pen, using pieces of cardboard torn or cut from salvaged shoeboxes, or a few used papers he finds on the floor. These characteristics which could appear as faults, obstacles or constraints seem to be rather considered by the self-taught draftsman as fruitful and inspiring data.

The designer does not engage in any sketches or preparatory drawings. The first traces are light and imprecise. The process that Chawan implements consists in repeating small strokes in successive bursts which are superimposed, thus gradually creating a line which intensifies, finds stability and takes a cursive boom. Using a simple ballpoint pen, Chawan invents a technical system that allows graphic games, subtle chiaroscuro, modeling effects, material rendering, giving softness and mystery to his production.

Kashinath Chawan's family belongs to the shoemaker caste; his grandfather and his father carried out this activity, and he himself has been engaged in it since the age of fifteen. At the calm hour of the afternoon, when customers are scarce, he takes advantage of devoting this moment of freedom to his drawings in which he mainly represents Hindu deities, but also characters from the two famous Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, as well as sometimes political figures or some Bollywood movie star.

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Kashinath Chawan (1950, Inde) dessine au stylo à bille, faisant usage de morceaux de carton déchirés ou découpés dans des boîtes à chaussures récupérées, ou de quelques papiers usagés qu'il trouve par terre. Ces caractéristiques qui pourraient apparaître comme des défauts, des obstacles ou des contraintes semblent être plutôt envisagées par le dessinateur autodidacte comme des données fécondes et inspirantes. 

Le créateur ne se livre à aucun croquis ou dessin préparatoire. Les premiers tracés sont légers et imprécis. Le procédé que Chawan met en œuvre consiste à répéter de petits traits par à-coups successifs qui se superposent, créant ainsi progressivement une ligne qui s'intensifie, trouve une stabilité et prend un essor cursif. A l'aide d'un simple stylo à bille, Chawan invente un système technique qui permet des jeux graphiques, de subtils clairs-obscurs, des effets de modelé, des rendus de matières, conférant douceur et mystère à sa production.

La famille de Kashinath Chawan appartient à la caste des cordonniers ; son grand-père et son père ont exercé cette activité, et lui-même s'y livre depuis l'âge de quinze ans. A l'heure calme de l'après-midi, quand les clients se font rares, il profite de consacrer ce moment de liberté à ses dessins dans lesquels il représente principalement des divinités hindoues, mais aussi des personnages des deux célèbres épopées indiennes, le Mahabharata et le Ramayana, ainsi que parfois des figures politiques ou quelque star du cinéma de Bollywood.

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