Certain things are so fundamental in shaping an entire generation’s idea of childhood that they become motifs through which the generation shares collective nostalgia or defines its childhood. There are also certain brands which tend to leave an impression. Phantom Sweet Cigarettes, Apsara pencils and Parle- G are not merely sweets or pencils or biscuits. For a whole generation that grew up in the 1990s and the early 2000s, these are memorabilia of times well-spent and times that aren’t coming back.
29-year-old Mumbai based artist Rutuja Mali’s latest Accordion Book Illustration series draws on this collective memory of daily objects.
Rutuja rather candidly says, “I never really planned the entire series. In fact, I only had the matchbox frame in mind. Doing that, I thought of experimenting more and started looking for other things at home. The idea was to illustrate funny insights on these day-to-day products, that everyone could relate to. The accordion format gives an element of illustrated surprise inside each of those products, like a peek into a relatable insight each of them hold within.”
The series is a play on everyday objects and how we interact with them. Whether it is the coffee sachet that opens up to ‘Phentt Rahi Hoon’(I’m beating the coffee) or the Apsara eraser that opens up to ‘Eraser hai? Yeh Hafte Ka Teesara Bhi Gaya. Sigh.’ (Do you have an eraser? The third one for the week is also gone. Sigh.) they draw on our daily interactions with these objects.
“There are a lot of experimental projects where I try to explore new mediums. All my artworks are usually a reflection of everyday experiences, and things around. I like to keep my art simple with an element of quirk. Nothing too difficult to comprehend. This is so that everyone can relate to it and enjoy it,” exclaims Rutuja.
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