Popularly known for his outstanding work in photojournalism, Pablo Bartholomew is a legend whose career spans over four decades and numerous cities. Through his lens he's witnessed many of the region's historical landmarks, such as the Emergency and its aftershocks, and the demolition of the Babri Masjid. His haunting images of the Bhopal gas tragedy still linger in our minds till today, the iconic photograph of a half-buried body of a child victim won him the World Press Photo of the Year award. Bartholomew grew up in an artistic household, his mother Rati Batra was an active theatre personality and a founding member of the theatre company Yatrik. His father Richard Bartholomew was a poet, photographer, painter and art critic; it was no surprise that their son too took to the artistic field and picked up photography, a craft he learned from his father.
His latest exhibition is very different from what you may expect from the renowned photographer. Having turned 60 last month, Bartholomew dug through his personal archives and unearthed a series of images that he is currently showcasing at the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai, in an exhibition titled 60/60, a part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend, an collaborated initiative by art galleries across the city.
Portraits of Menaka Gandhi during a performance and Documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan (Left) .Pablo Bartholomew (right) image courtesy: Olivia Bonnal Sansoni
Outside In: A Tale of 3 Cities
Bombay: Chronicles of a Past Life
The Calcutta Diaries
Bartholomew’s stint as a still photographer on the set of two films, Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) and Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) produced some of his best and most enigmatic photographs in the series. His favourite image is of a bare-chested Amjad Khan in a green room during the filming of Satyajit Ray’s film in Kolkata.
He has captured in his series some of the country's most prominent personalities and artists in a previously unseen light and unlikely settings at various stages of artistic development. The exhibition is eye candy for all film and art enthusiasts and saying it's worth a visit would be an understatement, we suggest you catch it while you can.
Scroll down to see some of our favourites from the exhibition, all images courtesy Pablo Bartholomew and Sakshi Gallery.