“The only place to browse art in Bandra is probably Satguru’s (a store that sells generic paintings of Ganeshas, plus statues and name plates and clocks and things). And that’s more about buying the right frame rather than the art itself,” says graphic designer Karthikeyan Ramachandran, who, prompted by this dearth of art galleries in the suburb, recently opened his own and called it False Ceiling.
Housed on an industrious little strip connecting Dr Ambedkar Road and Pali Naka – on this stretch you’ll also find Pali Village Cafe, The Shop, Calmhrim Cali – False Ceiling is exactly what you would expect a Bandra gallery to be like. A non-descript flight of stairs leading to a pretty bungalow where the browsing experience is more akin to viewing art in someone’s living room, rather than at a plush gallery.
Father Up the Stairs
Currently, the main room displays works by artist KN Ramachandran (owner Karthikeyan’s father), who paints scenes and people that reflect the South Indian culture. Some of these traditional landscapes you’ll find, are suddenly startled by cool iron suits and well-armed superheroes. There are the canvas collaborations between father and son that Karthikeyan describes as “futuristic antique”. See for instance, Safeguarding Tradition, where a Terminator-style warrior watches protectively over a sari-clad woman with a puja thali.
Next on the artist roster (starting November 22) is 1%-ers Art Collective, a group of seven odd artists from the UK who will be doing a moving exhibit across different Mumbai venues, one of them being False Ceiling. They’re bringing with them doodles, animation films, video projections and art works that will be assembled to look like a large shrine.
Meanwhile, in the Next Room
While browsing through the different chambers of this ‘house’, you’ll come across one where a fun bunch of people are hard at work. This is Xtrathin Design, Karthikeyan’s graphic design company that has worked on brands such as UTV Bindaas and Mtv and handled publicity design for films like Luck By Chance. Karthikeyan also has a home in Kamshet where he hopes to put up interesting artists from around the world, who would produce work for a False Ceiling show. First on his invite list is graffiti czar Banksy.
One can only (s)pray.
Getting there: False Ceiling, 111 Bungalow, Ambedkar Road, next to Pali Village Cafe, Bandra (W), call 9619176007 for an appointment, view the Facebook group here or visit http://www.false-ceiling.com.
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