Memories from Exhibition of Leading Musicians Caricature By Sri Y.S. Nanjunda Swamy

Music reverberates from the walls of the art gallery of the Indian Institute of Word Culture campus. The walls here are adorned with caricatures of famous musicians by YS Nanjundaswamy. An exhibition of seventy caricatures of musicians in different poses will be inaugurated on July 3 at 10:30 am by eminent musicologist TS Satyavathy. Famous humorist of the country YV Gundurao, famous cartoonist BG Gujjarappa, Pandit Praveen Godkindi and Vidwan Anur Anantsharma will be present as guests.

After the inauguration, a concert will be held at the Wadia hall adjacent to the gallery by renowned flutist Pandit Praveen Godkindi, mridanga virtuoso Anur Anantha Sharma and tabla virtuoso Pandit Kiran Godkindi. Along with the caricature show, there will also be a music program which will be a fusion of film and music. The exhibition of these caricatures will be held till July 10 and World Culture Organization has organized this event.

It is the arrival of an energetic person who is doing new experiments in the cartoon world of Kannada. If music is the music that evokes song in raga-tala-bhavas and delights the ears, YS Nanjundaswamy has brought these same raga-tala-bhavas out of his lines of elegance. Through this, the lines of music are blazing! Giving a realistic touch to the caricature style, he has created more than seventy-five portraits of India’s most famous musicians and the list is still growing. They look like a normal picture and have the qualities of a caricature. It’s a treat to see these pictures in different colors!

For those who know the characteristics of the respective musicians and their talent, Swamy’s films can be heard in his own music. The images are pleasing to the ears even while looking at the eyes.

For example, if we are watching Kunnukudi Vaidyanathan’s film, our ears will hear the sound of Nina emanating from his own violin. Such an elegant line and the manner of playing the violin captivates the eyes of the beholder and makes the heart melt. This must be the first time that a single person has created caricatures of hundreds of musicians. Everything that comes out of his brush is like a gem and is a “master piece”! This achievement of his can be included in the Guinness record!

When I talked to Nanjundaswamy about this show…. Who have you drawn caricatures of?

You have created films of three generations of musicians from Chembai Vaidyanathan, Veena Seshanna and most recently Sanjay Subrahmanyan. Mainly Veena Seshanna, Mmes Subbalakshmi, Bhimsen Joshi, Balamurali, Gangubai Hanagal, Lal Gudi B Jayaraman, Yesudas, Sangeetakatti and many other music scholars are on the list. I am constantly creating many more images.

Why write so much about musicians? My father YK Srikanthaiah, who was an artist and a singer, inspired me. Also, among the musicians who have been written now, many artists used to come to our house. You can see them closely. And some are in close contact. Such a musical environment has made it possible to write musicians like this.

What is special about displaying these caricatures? Indian Institute of Word Culture has a great reputation. It has a history of seventy five years. This institution used to organize literature and music programs, but recently it has been organizing film and cartoon shows. The contribution of this institution to the field of Nadi culture is considerable. Thus, it is a pleasure to perform these among live music lovers. Caricatures of musicians performed in the presence of such music lovers was a different experiment. If this exhibition brings joy to the art lovers here, my hard work will be worth it.

How many days will it take to create this caricature? If I sit down to create a caricature, I finish it in one sitting. Only then it gets a beautiful form. Concentration is key!

Did you make films of Mattinyava Ranga people other than musicians? Not limited to the music field. You are making films of all the actors. If you are famous, you don’t have to worry about any field. My job is to write.

Have you participated in any caricature contests? Any awards? Yes, you have participated in several national and international caricature competitions.

Also received several awards. I am very happy to have won the third position among Indians in the international caricature competition held to commemorate PV Narasimha Rao’s birth centenary. Also, you are constantly participating in international caricature competitions. There are plenty of options out there too. Awards received. It’s enough to say “Wow” to the audience, it’s a wonderful award-award!

Is this art related to your hometown? Whose influence is on them? Hometown Shimoga, a town with cultural background. Also my father is my inspiration. My father was not only a singer but also a painter. Their influence may be on me without me knowing. He had a great name outside our country. All those who used to come to the house were stalwarts of music and art world. So both music and painting were used in childhood. My father was my first art teacher. So both the arts that were in the father got mixed and it is the reason to reach this level.

Are there any art lessons? Father was an inspiration. But I learned the art methodically and methodically from Shilpi K Dnaneshwar. I was involved in art media and practiced commercial art. Close contact with famous artists of Shimoga such as Megavaralli Subrahmanya, Jameswaj and Ramdhyani etc. in situations of creating art works in many genres led to my prosperity.

How did you come to Bangalore and become famous? I came to Bangalore in my 50th year to pursue a career in print media. Chose the cartoon just for trend. I started sharing these cartoons and caricatures on social media, which started as “just like that”. It was Megaravalli Subrahmanya who first recognized and encouraged the new style that was hidden in me without even knowing it. Later, Gujjar was contacted. I am getting the necessary information from them during the making of the film. I am lucky to have such an opportunity. Apart from Gujjar, famous caricaturists of the country such as VRC Shekhar, Prakash Shetty and Nagnath and many other cartoonists, young and old, are bringing me up.

How to enter newspapers with social network? Senior artist James Swaj brought my caricatures and published them in ‘Taranga’ magazine. And they have been continuously promoting. It was this Jameswaj who promoted Nanjunda Swamy from the penname ‘YSN’!

How did the one-man cartoon show begin? Assisted in organizing an exhibition of my caricature portraits at the Indian Caricature Gallery under the guidance of a senior caricaturist, Narendra. Narendra is the reason for all this. My cartoons were also exhibited in this prestigious gallery which exhibits the cartoons of famous cartoonists from home and abroad. My privilege!

What is the motivation for creating such different caricatures? The encouragement I got to create thousands of cartoons and caricatures in six years was not enough. Madadi Manjula and son Pranav are direct critics and the work of correction has started from home. All the friends in the cartoon field are appreciating my cartoons and giving me feedback and appropriate suggestions. His encouragement is my protection. More experimental efforts are still to be done.

Greetings From:  India Toons