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    Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ?

    Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ? Find out !!

    Most complain about traffic woes in Bangalore, but some like Jon Den Hartigh choose to make lemonade out of lemons. The artist and teacher multi-tasked for three years to produce a pop art exhibition on a unique theme: 'Quintessential Indian vehicles'.

    "It's a typical foreigner's perspective of India, but I've avoided common topics like religion and Indian culture," Hartigh told TOI on Thursday.

    Referring to pop art as 'street art', Hartigh believes it's easy digestibility and smooth transition from the streets to a gallery.

    Interestingly, pop art has been described as a form of mass culture. Was that a conscious connection that he made between India and the art form? "Of course, I wanted everybody, from the poor to the elite, to relate to this collection. The paintings, like their subjects, are accessible to everyone," he affirms.

    The subjects of the 23 paintings on display are autorickshaws, trucks, ambassadors and Royal Enfield motorcycles. Paintings like 'Little yellow one' and 'Army green one' stand testimony to this former Ambassador owner's fascination with the car. "Autorickshaws are so cute and the Royal Enfield is India's answer to the Harley Davidson. Every middle-aged expatriate here wants one," says Hartigh.

    Inspired by the 'car culture' in California, Hartigh grew up drawing cars on the walls of his house. Although he didn't have time to paint an Indian bullock cart, this 34-year-old admitted that he would love to do so in future.

    According to Namrata Radhakrishnan, curator and director of Kynkyny Art Gallery, Hartigh's exhibition POP! embodies the theme of 'outsiders in India'. "Although it is a foreigner's vision of India, it's also reminiscent of the American retro era," she says. POP! is on at KynKyny Art Gallery till April 23.

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