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December 21, 2011 / Puneesh Suri

watch | your step

Step on man must you not | dear man.

New York, the metropolitical market where products and services wear workboots and head to their shelves every morning. It’s that part of the day when the sidewalk matrix turns into an extremely complex ant trail.

It’s believed that ants construct their pheromone trails to bring food into the colony. The purpose, contrary to context, is to conquer starvation. Prevent colony famine. Social welfare. Alas | that’s their story.

This story, concordant to context, is his.

I believe he was left here by an artist named Paul Richard in 2010. I could be wrong | if at all it matters.

Stepped on man have you not | dear man?

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December 12, 2011 / Puneesh Suri

all things must pass | the beatles

All it takes to overcome a bad feeling, is a good feeling. This axiom may or may not hold true for all or some. Then again, what does?

There I was, amidst crooked smoke rings, reminiscing the good old feeling of being able to press play at will. I was finally coming to terms with the absence of my iPod. It happened two weeks ago. I lost it. Where & How – I wish I knew. I was very close to deciding whether I should laugh or cry. To my rescue came The Beatles, speaking words of wisdom | let it be.

It was fairly easy, especially with the abundance of clues that were later found. In my collection of pictures from that day, there were some that spoke very clearly of a presence that’s rather felt than seen. The sounds I had lost came back and surrounded me.

 

It was a black bird singing in the dead of night.

The Beatles | don’t leave you.

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December 7, 2011 / Puneesh Suri

sand | art | joe mangrum | law

It was a relatively colder and quieter Friday afternoon at Washington Square Park. I was there for over an hour before I decided to go to Central Park. A good idea, I thought, would be to walk to the other side of the park and take the main exit. It’s amazing how sometimes instinct points the right way. On the exit was Joe Mangrum | The Sand Artist.

Surrounded by an awestruck audience of all ages between six and sixty, Joe was engrossed in creating his interpretation of The Universe Unfolding.

The two most fascinating aspects of this form of art are the posture and the medium of expression. The artist kneels down as if succumbing to the power of creation and creates unimaginable figures with sand that is collected from the Earth and then coloured.

Joe discovered his ability to conceive ideas at a very early stage of his life. He embarked upon his artistic journey with an oil painting that he made when he was eight years old. In 2006, he began his first experiment with coloured sand and has been creating masterpieces since then. Worthy of great appreciation are his four dimensional installations that are created using everyday objects such as auto parts, computer parts, food, money, bullets, flowers, fire and glass. He enjoys delving into this metaphorical world and expressing thoughts and things with colours and shapes that people can look and ‘wow’ at. Art to him is a direct expression of himself | a way of understanding the self better.

“You can’t really define art in a single sentence. It’s a multitude of people’s opinions, feelings and experiences.” | says Joe.

Bringing his work out to the park hasn’t really been too easy on the pocket for Joe. So far, he’s been issued four $1000 tickets, one $500 ticket & one $250 ticket for unlawful vending at Washington Square & Union Square. In his opinion, it is really disappointing that the city is taking this course of action and preventing artists from freely expressing themselves. These performers create art in visual, musical and other creative formats and it’s up to the onlookers whether or not they like to contribute. So much for adding colour to a grey jungle of concrete.

Well, that perhaps is law at its most | artistic.

For information and inspiration | visit http://www.joemangrum.com

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December 5, 2011 / Puneesh Suri

drums | buckets | madness

Through the holiday market at Union Square, I am walking towards Heartland Brewery. The market is like a giant rolling ball maze and I am one of the few hundred rolling balls. As I make my way through the red and white huts and walk towards the brewery for obvious reasons, I hear massive percussive sounds from a distance. From where I stand, it is hard to distinguish one hit from another. As I’m walking closer, the hits are clearer and I can identify kick drum, snare drum & cymbals among other enthralling sounds. It seems impossible to get past the crowd that’s gathered to see these performers, but curiosity has its ways.

I’m now on the other side of the crowd, witnessing drums | buckets | madness.

Peter Rabbit & Tyrone ‘LOCKATRON’ Hamlette | better known as New York City Drums & Buckets.

Born and raised in The Bronx and Harlem, Pete and Lock make a living by performing on streets that tremble with the energy of their music. Being face to face with an audience is what brings out the best in them. Although they perform at various venues in the city that never sleeps, they consider busking their main occupation. From dawn to dusk they play, with a handful of ten-minute breaks that are usually spent smoking a cigarette or talking to a random stranger like yours truly. I stayed with them for over an hour and then left for the brewery, only to get four dollars and ninety nine cents from my friends Dhaval & Karolina to buy the New York City Drums & Buckets CD. Lock generously gave me two for the price of one.

Finally, after watching another awesome performance by Pete & Lock, I went to the brewery | for obvious reasons.

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December 3, 2011 / Puneesh Suri

saw lady

As intriguing or haunting as the name may be, Saw Lady will mesmerize you with the captivating sound of her saw.

During my days at the audio school, I would spend a few dull moments of my afternoons waiting for the uptown express train at Union Square Subway Station. On one such afternoon, I heard wind singing through the commotion of the underground subway. I couldn’t help but follow the sound to find its source.

And I did!

I stood there gazing in awe and wondering – is this gorgeous woman with the giant blade real | or a figment of my imagination? Lost inside her closed eyes, she played like she was turning a blizzard into a breeze that flew in accordance with the voice of her saw. Once every few seconds, she would open her eyes to observe the harmony and share a smile with her audience.

Natalia Paruz | The Saw Lady was born in Israel but is living in NY since a very long time. Amazingly, as a child Natalia never dreamed of becoming a professional saw player. A trainee with Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company, Natalia’s quest in life was to become a dance performer. One day, on her way back from Lincoln Center, she met with a fatal car accident while crossing Central Park South. Her dream died right there, leaving her at sea.

Before her life could slip through her fingers | the saw found her. The first time she ever felt excited about something since the accident was when she witnessed a man playing the saw at a show for tourists in Europe. It was as if nature just pointed the way to her. A self-taught saw player, Natalia has worked with renowned record labels such as Universal Records, Capitol Records & Atlantic Records.

It’s been a year and a half since I first saw Natalia Paruz. I still often wonder – is this gorgeous woman with the giant blade real | or a figment of my imagination?

For more information and downloads visit http://www.sawlady.com.

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November 22, 2011 / Puneesh Suri

baul [bah-oo’l]

origin: unknown

I am the enigma | I am the obvious
I am the silence | I am the sound
I am the end | I am the beginning
I am | Baul

Parvathy Baul

Tune, Rhythm & Lyric. Such an experience it is to merely see these words written together. An incessant clutch or a passing thought, what is it that cannot be or become of the culmination of these radical elements?

Irrelevant.

Relevant is, what can?

Paban Das Baul & Bob Dylan

Moner Manush – The Person of the Heart. The embodiment of the three radical elements – Tune, Rhythm & Lyric. The one who seeks divinity within human form through Music. The one whose life, in its entirety, is a song.

In the absence of an absolute direction, he treads on land and along the sea. His only companions are his medium of creative expression, his instruments – Ektara & Duggi. This madcap explores the infinite faces of existence as he sings songs that emanate transcendental love. An act of renunciation, as one may perceive, but beyond the blur of perception, it’s the act of succumbing to the deepest celebration, the ecstasy – Music.

It is the act of becoming | baul.

Ecstatic Bauls

 

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