bpb gets two insiders from Mumbai’s art scene to sketch out their favourite city spots. Get in line!
Mortimer Chatterjee, Founder of Chatterjee and Lal
Samovar: Legendary gobi parathas and prawn curry. For decades this is where artistic successes and disappointments have called for the cracking open of well-chilled beers. Jehangir Art Gallery, Ground Floor, Kala Ghoda, Fort, call 22848000.
Modern Juice Centre: As the centre of the art scene moved south to the area around Radio Club in 2007, the food joints frequented also changed. Modern Juice Centre provides hungry artists with the finest chicken shawarmas in town. Significantly, they are served with French fries inside the wrap which recalls the kind made in North Africa. Puran Niwas, Ground Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, call 22812457.
Chemould Frames: The city would simply not be able to function as a centre for the visual arts without Chemould Frames. For the last forty-six years they have advised artists, collectors and galleries as to the perfect frame for every kind of wall hung artwork. 271 Princess Street, next to Parsi Dairy Farm, call 22018295.
Photokina: This is where every serious artist and gallery goes to have digital images printed. Without doubt the most experienced in the city, the guys who run Photokina are thorough professionals who exude a confidence which eases harried nerves. 543D Fulchand Niwas, SVP Road, Chowpatty, call 02223611290.
Taj Mahal Palace: The hotel has one of the finest collections of modern Indian art in the country. Head to the Harbour Bar for a cocktail and an art education. Apollo Bunder, Colaba, call 66653366.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum): The sculpture room on the ground floor of the museum houses some of the finest classical Indian artworks in existence. There are examples of work from throughout India, but of special interest are the early stone sculptures discovered in an area that is today the ex-mill area of Parel in central Mumbai. 159/61 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, call 22844484 or visit http://www.themuseummumbai.com.
Tiles on the wall next to Amba Mata Mandir: India doesn't do graffiti - how does one possibly compete with sensory overload that is apparent at every turn? However, I do consider the wall that demarcates the Amba Mata Mandir in Gamdevi as an artwork. The compositional format of the tiles is impossibly cool. Gamdevi, South Mumbai.
Warehouse on 3rd Pasta: As art spaces go, nothing in Mumbai can compare with it. Seemingly crammed in on all sides, once a visitor walks through the door, the cathedral-like ceilings overwhelm the senses. Hosting some of the best shows of contemporary art in the country, it has been become a must-see for any art aficionado. 6/7 Third Pasta Lane, Colaba, call 22023056 or visit www.gallerymaskara.com.
Strand Bookstall: To this day the only physical bookstore in South Mumbai that stocks a decent range of art related publications. Plus, the staff are always happy to order hard to get titles. Although online resources may have somewhat dented Strand's iconic status, it remains a cherished spot on the art map of the city. Dhannur, Sir PM Road, Fort, call 22661994, visit www.strandbookstall.com.
Jitish Kallat, Artist
Chor Bazaar: Mumbai’s most amazing shopping arcade! Mutton Street, Mohammed Ali Road.
Cafe Mondegar: This restaurant has great art on the walls – Mario Miranda’s amazing cartoons. Metro House, near Regal Cinema, 5-A Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba, call 22020591 / 22830586.
Chemould Prescott Road: My favourite art gallery. Third floor, Queens Mansion, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, call 22000211.
Local train graffiti: It’s interesting to spot the fun graffiti inside local trains, usually around the ‘To Stop Train Pull Chain’ sign.
Porch of the Victoria Terminus… err… Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Building : A truly inspirational spot in Mumbai. Fort.
Veerat Paper Bazar: For art supplies. I often go there simply to touch paper. Shop no 2, Coin House, Bandra Station Road, opposite Bandra Talao, Bandra (W), call 9820930459.
Jnanapravaha: Interesting centre to go to gain art knowledge. Third floor, Queens Mansion, opposite Sleight Of Hand, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, call 22072974 / 22072975 or visit www.jp-india.org.
The Bhau Daji Lad Museum: My current favourite Mumbai muse. 91/A, Rani Baug, Veer Mata Jijbai Bhonsle Udyan, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marg, Byculla (E), call 23731234 or visit www.bdlmuseum.org.
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