These words have always held a certain fascination for me – the first I remember seeing this was in an encyclopedia for children at my maternal grandparents’ home. It was something like “An Artist’s Impression of a Space City” or some such. Over the years, I’ve come across quite a few examples – from celestial events to futuristic dreams to historical happenings. What has always struck me in all these is the kind of freedom enjoyed by an artist, and the kind of strait-jacket imposed by her (or his) ‘impression’. The two present a complex interplay, the manifestation of which is wide-ranging in its aesthetics as well as its representation of something. However, the final result is always fascinating when viewed in terms of the process that brought it forth.
Descending for a moment from the heights of intellectual adoration of the creative process, what happens when one comes across something one has seen only an artist’s impression of? For example, the first time I saw the Charminar in person was perhaps one of the most disappointing moments in my life. That was about thirteen years ago, when my idea of magnificence was largely determined by things matching up to my expectations. Having been brought up on its numerous renderings in various positions, the actual monument was quite tiny compared to the one in my mind. However, I have dealt with my disappointments and today, the Charminar is one of my favourites, not least because of the wonderful photo opportunities it provides!
Moving on, my most recent brush with an artist’s impression was last week, when Govardan, a caricaturist, made a sketch of me. I was quite thrilled with it, I guess mostly because of the massive ego-massage it was! However, everyone who saw i, without an exception, asked me whose picture it was. Now, I know that it is a caricature, and is not meant to accurately represent one’s physical likeness. But if no one is able to figure out who the caricatured ones are, then it is a bit of a failure isn’t it? Nevertheless, the caricature, appropriately autographed and dated, adorns my desk, awaiting that bright spirit that will say, “Hey, that’s a cool caricature of you!”
If you want to judge for yourself, here it is. There is a picture of me in my About Me page which you can use for comparison purposes! Tell me what you think!