The subject of what holds an artist’s interest is itself worthy of note. Shibu Arakkal, the son of renowned painter Yusuf Arakkal who has chosen photography as his métier, is fascinated with design.

“Anything related to design fascinates me – it could be any kind of design – my mind works like a graphic designer’s,” he says. From photographing the reflection of light on the headlights of his car to a water tap, Shibu interprets reality as he sees it.

Shibu Arakkal’s Eiffel O’Seven

Exploring the language of design, he once worked on a series titled ‘Abstract notions’. The question that he sought the answer to was ‘why do people choose the curve as opposed to the line?’ The answer – which seems innately simple to me (why the need for research, I quip) – was that the curve is attractive as it mimics the form of the female hip. Referring to a photograph of a bulb in this series, Shibu insists that the shape of a light bulb is not a functional need; one of his photographs may well be taken for the picture of a feminine hip.

After showing a series that dealt with the curve as a form, in his next series, he presented straight lines and architectural forms with mirrored montages and graphic renditions.

Continuing with his interest in interpreting design, he has photographed great architecture from around the world like the Colosseum in Rome, the Notre Dame in Paris, the Emirates Towers in Dubai, among several other buildings. He spent over two years in creating a visual study of the famed Eiffel Tower, inspired by traditional Japanese print making and influenced by early twentieth century art deco.

Shibu Arakkal’s Eiffel O’Seven

The style he employs is extremely simplistic; relying on pure black and white line drawings to create an avante garde series that has met with critical success.

Shibu is a regular in the Indian contemporary art shows circuit. He has had several solo and group shows nationally and internationally and his works are collected by seasoned art collectors.

He has now launched the calendar for 2012 – Eiffel O’Seven which is based on this series. There are only 250 copies priced at Rs.500 each, so if you would like a stunning visual of the Eiffel on your wall, write to him at:

By Sandhya Mendonca (Sandhya Mendonca writes a weekly column for the Herald Goa)

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