“Frida Kahlo is thinking of Diego. Who are you thinking of?” There’s a book on a shelf at a new art store that not only provides you with a blank sheet to answer this question, but also lets you re-colour Mexican painter Frida’s iconic works.
We were naturally thinking of you, dear reader, when we visited Aurobodh, a new “art, sound and creativity” store at Mahalaxmi that stocks Frida Kahlo colouring books for grown-ups, storms that live in drums and Rs 50 optometry charts that will make you squint. How many fingers is Frida’s monkey holding up?
There Is No Explosive In This
Housed in one of the many garages that line Vasundhara Apartments – there’s also a wig and a travel store where cars should be – Aurobodh resembles a small art gallery, but wants to be just the opposite. “The aim is to make art non-intimadating, cheap and accessible to all,” says owner Jesal Thacker, a JJ School of Art graduate and founder of Bodhana Foundation for the Arts.
That’s probably why one entire section, sourced from Delhi’s Vadhera Gallery, consist well-priced art collectibles by big artists. There are paintings by Atul Dodiya, Ram Kumar, Raza and Anju Dodiya that have been turned into postcards, coasters, diaries and seriously cool wrapping paper. These limited edition pieces, well-packaged and priced at Rs 50 onwards, make for cheap chic gifts.
Warhol and Peace
One of bpb’s favourite product designers Shilpa Gupta’s white cloth bags that say ‘There is No Explosive In This’ (Rs 200), is now available in Mumbai at Aurobodh. Also see her cool optometry tests that can be bought and framed, priced at just Rs 50. There’s also a skinny book shelf that houses rare art books, “the kind you can’t find at a bookstore,” says Jesal. Among The lost Mona Lisa and 50 Paintings You Should Know, we found above mentioned Frida Kahlo and Matisse colouring book as well as a slightly more childish Warhol version. We’d love to see a make-this-lush Where the Wild Things Are painting book (RIP author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.) While the walls here are decked with lesser known artists’ work, Aurobodh also runs workshops for kids and provides customised art solutions for your home and office, including commissioning of wall murals.
At the centre of Aurobodh you’ll see a bunch of odd musical instruments, all sourced from Auroville. We’re not into wind chimes, but if you like those creepy-signalling-of-ghost-devices, the ones here are tuned to Indian ragas. There are xylophones, instruments that can only be played with wet hands and drums that make the noise of an ominous storm. Perhaps it’s what creative rage sounds like, the kind that legendary artists experience when their works get re-painted in colouring books.
No Campbell Soup for you!
Getting there: Aurobodh, studio no 5, Vasundhara Building, next to Cadbury House, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mahalaxmi, call 23514884, Rs 350 for a set of six coasters, Rs 200 for a Shilpa Gupta bag.
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