Postcard Spotlight is an interview series showcasing young leaders and creative minds who are making their mark with their unique talent and drive.
In the spotlight this week is Gaurav Ogale, a visual chronicler and diarist who lends his creative vision to cultural, academic and commercial projects with equal ease and expertise. Gaurav’s keen understanding of sensitive nuances is reflected through his acclaimed work. Read on to know his story.
Tell us about your journey – what drove you to become an artist?
I was extremely observant as a child. So I always had a lot of stories to tell and not necessarily how they unfolded in reality but how I interpreted them. These stories often and most naturally came out visually. I don’t think my aspirations were to be an artist per se, but I would say it was always to be a visual storyteller of sorts.
As a visual artist, where do you draw inspiration from?
Everyday instances, anecdotes and objects intrigue me. Nostalgia plays a big role in my work, I think my mind is like a repository of memories and they often keep coming into the narratives I create – then however irrelevant they might be.
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Kaali-peeli radio playlists that are synonymous with the city’s breeze and its pulse. What would the flamboyance of Bombay be without retro lyrics interrupted by the stench of putrid fish that envelopes the city’s nostalgia and existence. : : Visuals © Gaurav Ogale 2019 Audio © Vividh Bharti // Shemaroo
What’s the most challenging project you’ve worked on so far?
The time I spent in Advertising Design was probably the most challenging, also because one had to keep creating stories, keep dreaming, and make people believe in what you are saying. There was something surreal about creating scenarios and worlds out of one’s sheer imagination. And the other project would definitely be my most recent Words and Visuals anthology since it involved collaborating with creators from distinct genres and aesthetics.
Tell us about your audiovisual project – how did the idea come about? What has the experience of collaborating with such illustrious artistes been like?
The idea was parked somewhere in my mind for a long time. The idea of creating visual snippets, more like blink and miss films. I believe that in times when all of us are endlessly scrolling through different digital platforms, we are not able to grasp so much in one glimpse. This series was born out of that idea of telling a story through visuals and shorter narratives like spoken word, haikus or simply thoughts. While I was curating the collaborations, the approach was also to collaborate with creators who have various dimensions to their creative practice. You pick any one artist from the series and you will see that they have so much more to themselves and their craft and persona beyond what is known to the world. And that was interesting to me.
The experience was the most rewarding in my journey so far as a visual chronicler. Also because each collaborator was open to experimentation and most of them were trying out certain formats for the very first time. So it really was special.
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Rajkummar Rao @rajkummar_rao x Gaurav Ogale • written by Paritosh Tripathi @iamparitoshtripathi : Today, on a gloomy day – here’s a ray of hope with this evocative narration straight from Raj’s heart. Thank you Paritosh for penning a piece the world needs in these times. Hope we come out of this as more compassionate and sensitive beings.
Who’s the one creator or artist you would love to collaborate with and why?
Arundhati Roy. I don’t know what exactly we would create, or which of her work I would like to interpret visually but there’s something that tells me that we have to create something someday. Also, her aesthetics show in her writing across genres – novels, essays, and films.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to wander around. Maybe cook or daydream.
What’s the story behind your Instagram handle, patranimacchi?
It’s more the other way round now, a lot of people don’t know my real name. Patranimacchi because I like how reticent the spices in a patra-ni-macchi are. It’s a quintessential Parsi preparation as you know, it’s coy, it’s layered and when you eat it, it slowly reveals its true essence.
Which are your favourite accounts to follow on Social Media and why?
On Instagram, I like handles that give you the space to get lost and wander and explore their minds. They could be chefs, artists, potters, filmmakers, storytellers or even just people who have a lot to say about everyday things.
What’s the first thing you want to do once this pandemic is over?
I want to swim, I want to cycle all around without wearing a mask. And I want to get lost in the most crowded streets of my Bombay.
Where can people get in touch with you or see your work?