exhibition portrays consumerism,
branding and the
While aspiration is often lauded as a virtue, it takes on a questionable edge when personified in the character of Aspyrus in the latest installment of the Halahala comic series. Lured by the dream city, a young tribal boy buys into the rat race, but is consumed by the world he encounters. We catch up with George Mathen, aka Appupen, the creator
of the Halahala world, as an exhibition of work drawn predominantly from his latest book opens in Indiranagar.
More on the boy who grows up.
He sees the dream city, and is drawn to it, mouth open and eyes wide. But every time he gets something (the job, the home, the companion), he wants something else, following the dream, until eventually the dream carries him. His daughter knows that the dream has killed him,
and it’s her story in the second half of the book.
What to expect at the exhibition?
You’ll see more of Halahala than is in the books. There is a section of drawings from a forthcoming collaborative graphic novel about Bangalore, as well as original work from the new book, and large acrylic on canvas paintings that focus on Aspyrus as a character.
Corporate life influences.
With my advertising background, I’m wary of brands. I didn’t want to continue using my creative skills to influence people, and to make them feel inadequate in order to buy something. My creative director actually told me that if I wanted to be an artist, I should get out. I also went to volunteer with gas tragedy survivors in Bhopal on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, and that really put things in perspective.
In the pipeline.
Something audio-visual. People can be wary of a wordless graphic novel, and this is a way of showing them how I would read it, while still allowing readers to have their own interpretations. I’m very interested in sound — I used to be in a band, and would like to make a sound for my city, to breathe life into it.
At Five Forty Five, Indiranagar. Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to
6.30 pm. Until November 28.
— Maegan Dobson Sippy