Not that we believe in the whole hearts-and-flowers Hallmark nonsense, but we had a rather lively discussion recently here at the bpb office about the best presents to give or receive on Valentine’s Day. Or any other day of the month, really. And after much searching (with this website providing eye candy), we stumbled across just the thing at the Art Fair last weekend. Artist Suraj Kumar Kashi did an installation of book covers on bricks, and get this, is willing to work on commission, with any book you want to preserve forever. Mor(tar) please!
Suraj did a bachelors in Fine Arts from Art College, Patna and a masters from Delhi’s College of Art before he moved into advertising with Ogilvy for three years. But, since painting had always been his primary passion, he quit his corporate job and moved to the canvas, where he’s been for the last decade. He’s only been experimenting with bricks for the last couple of years though.
First, he coats all the bricks—just the regular ones you get at construction sites—with cement, washes it with texture white to make the art work last longer, then sketches on whatever book jacket he wants to use. And last, he fills in the details with acrylic paint. While the Art Fair only had about 15 brick-books on display, you can also check out his work at the Devi Art Foundation, where he put up an installation of all the books he’s done.
We spotted Khushwant Singh, Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus book jackets, as well as some lighter fare—a chicklit book on art called Faking It—and some magazines, including Tehelka. While you may not want that Open magazine cover in your house forever, we suggest getting some of these cool ones.
Brick bookends. What a great gift for our writer friends. That way, we’re providing the brickbats and the bouquets.
And if book jackets aren’t your thing, but the medium is, Suraj can turn pretty much anything into a little installation for you, from photographs to paintings, to that picture of your departed cat you have on your cellphone. Dust to dust!
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