Lensman Pablo Bartholomew chronicles a past life | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Lensman Pablo Bartholomew chronicles a past life

The photographs attracting art enthusiasts at Colaba’s Sakshi Gallery are creations of Pablo Bartholomew, but the ace photographer is preoccupied with the works of another photographer – his father Richard Bartholomew.

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2011 02:38 IST
Aarefa Johari

The photographs attracting art enthusiasts at Colaba’s Sakshi Gallery are creations of Pablo Bartholomew, but the ace photographer is preoccupied with the works of another photographer – his father Richard Bartholomew.

Though better known as a poet, painter and one of India’s leading art critics of the 1960s and 70s, Bartholomew senior was the one who taught Pablo photography. On Saturday evening, the son will hold a public presentation to talk about Richard the photographer, and to trace his lineage in his father’s work.

“Strong comparisons can be made between my work and his, because we chose to photograph similar themes, settings and moods,” said Bartholomew, who will make his presentation at Sakshi Gallery itself. “My father coupled a lot of his photographs along with his writing; his pictures were rarely exhibited.”

In 2007, more than two decades after his father’s death, Bartholomew resurrected the artiste’s photographic work with an exhibition in New York. Called ‘A Critic’s Eye’, the exhibition was held a few blocks away from Bartholomew’s own exhibition. It travelled to Mumbai in 2010 and has also been published as a book.

Bartholomew’s current exhibition in the city, ‘Chronicles of a Past Life’, is not new work. In grainy black and white, the photographs capture Mumbai in the 1970s and 80s, with a focus on its pedestrians, marginalised communities and isolated figures on the busy city streets.

“I am attracted to people who have a kind of outsider element to them,” said Bartholomew, who believes that people in Mumbai engage with

each other in a way distinctly warmer than those from Delhi, his hometown.

The photographer lived in Mumbai built his career as a film and independent photographer for nearly two decades before returning to Delhi to become a photojournalist. “Everyone in Mumbai is in a state of acceleration – there is something real here,” he said.

(Pablo Bartholomew’s photo exhibition Chronicles of a Past Life will be on display at Sakshi Gallery, Colaba, till March 7. His talk on his father’s work will be held on Saturday at 6.30 pm)