I had gone to visit him with some trepidation of how he would receive my ideas regarding developing the brief I had received from the Residency Gods here. Meeting your Residency mentor is never an easy task. However, my apprehension turned out to be quite unnecessary as not only did he accept my seemingly fragmented, undisciplined and crazy ideas , but spiced them up with a few of his own. Seeing as my brief is pretty much to take this song and play it to my own tune, a bit of aesthetic madness to sent the rhythm was just the missing element.
However, as with all good stories, the twist in the tale was at the very end and came about only as we made our way out of a treasure-house of Gond art in the warm beer-belly of Panjim. After having appraised art the world over, spoken of haikus and Namdeo Dhasal’s poetry, Beauvoir’s writings and Jung’s observations, the Greek sun and the Parisian stars, the man went on to admit that he’s never set foot out of the country.
But by then, this rare, vivacious teacher-creature had stopped surprising me at all.
You see, Apurva Kulkarni is not your usual teacher. He’s not your usual artist or critic. Actually, he’s not a usual person at all. What is most unusual about this fantastic encyclopedia of art history and an example in soft, articulate speech is his overwhelming kindness and abundant curiosity.
About your thought. Your work. Your travels. Your loves. Your scars. Your shadows. Your light. You.
What better an alchemist to help gather my dreams and sieve stardust?
(© Apurva Kulkarni)