50 beautiful images offer new look at the City of Love
New Delhi, Feb 17: Photographer Rupin Thomas brings alive Paris, a dream destination for millions of travelers through a brand new exhibition that intimately captures the City of Love through its grand buildings, breathtaking landscapes and of course, its graffiti.
Titled 'La vie à Paris: A Study in Volition,' the show takes a look at life in and around Paris through a week-long exhibition of 50 photographs at the Lalit Kala Akademi, beginning here on February 19.
An economist by training who has spent over 10 years in the US and around four years travelling in Europe, Rupin outlines the evolving city of Paris through images clicked over a period of three summers, focusing the brilliant juxtaposition of the old and the new.
Curated by Uma Nair, the photographs are mounted in four sections with a cross section of the famed iconic Eiffel Tower and a picture of the 10th Arrondissement just below it greeting visitors.
The 34-year-old photographer was drawn to the beauty of the city and wanted to document it. The show is broken into four parts - - Landscapes, Still life studies, Solitaire - - Quiet corner and Street Art and finally Graffiti.
The walls adjoining an abandoned rail line, that once encircled the city and separates some of the oldest and affluent neighborhoods from the up and coming ones inhabited with more first generation immigrants, offer a canvass for graffiti.
"The old railway Petite Petite Ceinture translated as the 'Little Belt' goes around Paris and separates the old Paris with the New Paris. It is very unique as you can see a lot of refugees and homeless people. It contains lot of interesting iconography and graffiti and it helps understand the balance between the haves and the have nots," says Rupin.
Rupin is showing an entire section on benches and chairs of Paris belonging to different periods in time.
"I find public benches interesting as they are used to sit and ponder or meditate. The simplicity of a bench almost feels like a church because in a church people go to find solitude. I find it is a non partisan thing, something akin to life in Delhi where people line up to take a seat,"he says.
"Rupin has walked, he has cycled, he has spent many hours in solitude to realise the truth of Goethe’s words who had said Paris is a 'Universal city where every step upon a bridge or a square recalls a great past, where a fragment of history is unrolled at the corner of every street,'" says curator Uma Nair.
The Paris pantheon of sculptures in graves are a magical mix of architecture and history and Rupin has desisted from capturing the famous going only for the sculptural brilliance.
The landscape and the still life series, says the curator has to do with another change of scenery, another transformation of the world, the transition from a traditional suburban fabric in a concrete and impersonal suburb.
Rupin who has previously worked at the International Monetary Fund and Bank of America - Merrill Lynch Investment Banking Group is a self taught photographer who picked up his first camera in 1995, a Pentax K 1000. One of the earliest influences on him were the works of American photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams.
During his formative years as a photographer under the tutelage of the celebrated African-American photographer Brian Jones, he decided to delve deep into the study of abstract black and whites, at George Washington University and created a body of works which were showcased in 'a study on composition' at Montgomery College.
Rupin currently works with a Nikon D200 and a Canon 20D, his works have previously been used commercially in curatorial projects and a select group of publications as well.
The show continues till February 25 at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
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