A lot of India‘s vibrancy comes from its bustling streets, filled with, amongst others, vendors and hawkers of all manner of products, produce and services. In this very intimate series of portraits, the artist isolates the object of his gaze - in this case, a cobbler - and removes him from the action of his surroundings. This gives the viewer an uninterrupted chance to really see - and have a sense for - this person, who would otherwise have been one of many. Body language, and posture become important indicators of his daily experiences.
21 x 29.7 cm (unframed) Illustrated with Kohinoor pencils, digitally coloured Printed on Enhanced Matte archival paper with Ultrachrome K3 inks.
My inspiration comes from people, travel, stories and other visuals I encounter. This project started off with me documenting Mumbai and its vendors, interacting with them. Some of them would talk, some wouldn't. I tried to understand them, notice the details.
Returning to India in 2013 after graduation in the UK, Manu decided to live in Mumbai for a while. That is where he came across the pool of street vendors and started to take notice of them - the energy, hard work, pain, struggle and their attitudes. It was an overwhelming experience and he wanted to understand more, so he started conversing with them, trying to understand them as individuals and listen to their stories. From these interactions came the idea to create a series of these individuals, which would be strong and thought-provoking - as well as visually appealing.
Manu’s aesthetic varies from project to project, in this case what caught his attention was his subjects’ setting. The colourful and busy city, crowded streets, the movement, the noises, the climate, the faces and the different expressions. The people fighting for their rights to a good life. All of this influenced him and the resulting is a series of 13 illustrations, executed in bold colours that match their setting.
We're proud to be able to offer these prints exclusively at the Indian Goods Co. Thank you Manu, we wish you much success!