Terracotta art and architecture reached unprecedented heights in 16th century Bengal. The devotional movement then sweeping over the region, opened floodgates of creativity. Sacred and civilian buildings, made of baked clay bricks and decorated with extravagant motifs, were set up to showcase the resurgent innovative spirits of the artists and craftsmen. Monumental structures were designed by the architects using innovative techniques that managed to defy the fragility of terracotta structures. Even five hundred years on, the remains of these historical edifices overwhelm us with their beauty and intricacy. What was the essence of terracotta art? And, how did the artists manage to create such timeless pieces of work?
An artist’s eyes always remain engaged in search of visual poetry even at the seemingly unlikeliest of the places. The rhythm in massive brick structures, nostalgia associated with rain soaked streets or the irony of multitude jostling in every street corner without even knowing each other hardly ever eludes Nathan Walsh. And, the artist loyally keeps on registering every mood of a throbbing city on canvas. Be it on the Sicilian Avenue, in the Rainy Afternoon in Chicago or in New York Sunshine Nathan Walsh’s mind remains ever alert picking up the glittering verses that the city whispers into his ears. He also takes artistic liberty in fusing time and space to create paintings like 23 Skidoo or Multiverse – a playful geometric maze that can only be painted through such creative consciousness.
After completion of studies from Rhode Island School of Design and Art Center College of Design and serving a stint with NASA as an advanced scientific space Illustrator Kurt Wenner was finally forced to pay heed to his heart’s desire. In 1982 he left NASA for Italy to explore more of Renaissance classicism. He became the first American artist to win the top prize at the Grazie di Curtatone competition for three consecutive years and received the title Master Street Painter. In 1985, National Geographic documented Kurt’s unique and innovative works of art in their award winning film Masterpieces in Chalk.