THERE ARE sculptures and there are portraits. Since city-based artist Charuchandra Bhide’s works are an amalgamation of the two, he has coined a term for them – ‘sculptraits’. At the 63rd Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav this year, Bhide will be showcasing sculptraits of nearly 50 music stalwarts, right from Vishnu Digambar Paluskar to Vijay Ghate. Carved on granite stone, the sculptraits feature well-known musicians such as Pt Shivkumar Sharma, Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Shubha Mudgal, Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Ravishankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Hirabai Barodekar, Parveen Sultana, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and many more.
“I am not an artist; I carbon copy the photo of the personality on granite stone and then carve it with a tool called pengrinder. The beauty of the work is that they do not get affected by rain or sunlight. Through my collection of works, I am saluting these doyens for their contribution to the world of music,” says Bhide. The sculptraits are made on granite stone of three sizes – A3, A4 and A5. Aptly titled ‘Patthar Ki Lakeer’, the exhibition will be on at Sawai from December 10 to 13 at the New English School, Ramanbaug.
It’s only until recently that Bhide has begun experimenting with granite stone. “Three years ago, I began carving faces on watermelons. While it looked good, it had a short life because it was made on a perishable item. Then I started carving on coconuts but that too had limitations because of its shape and size. After that, I tried glass as a medium. However, in February this year, when I made my first sculptrait on granite, I realised how long-lasting and powerful medium it was,” says Bhide. So far, he has made scuptraits of many famous personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, APJ Kalam, PL Deshpande, Sharila Tagore, Rekha, Nana Patekar, Amitabh Bachchan, Marilyn Monroe, Om Puri and so on.
On an average he takes four hours to make a sculptrait. However, sculptraits of some of the personalities have taken more time for various reasons.
Bhide cites an example of his experience of working on his upcoming exhibition Patthar Ki Lakeer, “For instance, when I was working on Pt. Ravi Shankar’s sculptrait, the sitar itself took six hours; it required detailed work. Likewise, my work of Pt Shivkumar took comparatively longer time because of his curly hairstyle, which again requires precision and concentration,” says Bhide, who is an advocate as well as service tax and central excise consultant by profession.