nepal Feed

Why I love Nepal - signboard art from Pokhara!

 23500005

This guy certainly has his hands full!   This signboard is in Pokhara, a lovely resort town centered on the lovely Lake Fewa.

 100_0212
Looks like this dog took the advice on this sign.   His chakra seems well-balanced.   Again on the main road in Pokhara.   Notice the signboard on the left:   Namaste Bakery.   Pokhara is a very continental town and caters to many nationalities, as evidenced by the Israeli lettering on that sign.   Israelis are catered to in town, with many restaurants offering bagels, Israeli salads, etc.   There are many cyber cafes that offer Hebrew keyboards.  

 23500008
Fresh hot delicious fish from Lake Fewa.   Can anyone figure out what the G/V, R/V mean on this sign?   R/V might be rice and vegetables, but G/V?

 23500010
These are definitely Funny Bunnies.   I can guarantee you that rabbit is not on the menu.   

 100_0188
Cheap and Best.   This signboard was painted one of my signboard artists:  Shahi.

 2008Dogs_293
I've tried to find the artist who painted this butcher shop signboard.   I enjoy the bloody neck detail and he had fun with the lettering, too.   This guy tried hard to put his stamp on this signage.   The artist's name is Arjun, but I don't know the last name and Arjun is quite a common name in Nepal.

 2008Dogs_294
Here is a self portrait of Arjun that was hanging in his shop.   He wasn't there at the time and when I went back next trip, his shop had disappeared.   He does look quite the character.

 101_0713
As you can see, Pokhara is a sybaritic town, with fresh fish, mountains, massages and all sorts of ways to relax and have fun.

 100_0202
This is Harriet the rescue dog as a work in progress from Punam Arts in Pokhara.  This is an example of the type of work  you can expect when you order a portrait of your pet from the Nepal Art Dog Fair Trade art project.

As you can see, the art of Nepal is versatile and charming.   It would be a shame to have these hand-painted signs be replaced by corporate sponsored signage produced in conjunction with a focus group, probably a focus group in another country.

The Nepal Art Dog project promotes the endangered art of Nepali signboards.   These Fair Trade signboards are hand-painted on recycled metal, using synthetic enamel and can be hung indoors or out.  They are approximately one foot square.  Over 1400 portraits have been commissioned to date, giving these artists real work.

 

On my most recent trip to Nepal, the Danger Dog commissions were the only art these artists were still hand painting -- all their other work was mass-produced, digital or printed on flex.   I decided to concentrate on pets as there was a tradition in Nepal already of 'beware of dog' placards and I knew that people would like them.    These are truly fine artists whose work is disappearing at an alarming rate. 

 

Each commission will be given to at least 3 signboard artists - giving 3 people work, the pet owner a choice and museum shops Nepali folk art.   No money is accepted up front.   If you don't like any of the 3 choices, you pay nothing.    Or you can buy an existing painting. 

 

This project is for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference in these artists' lives.

 

Micro-finance through art patronage!

 

More information is available at NepalDog.com.

 

Contact me at ampage1@gmail.com to place an order or to answer any questions.


Why I love Nepal - dogs on gates!

 100_6753

This dog on a gate in Kathmandu would certainly keep me out!

 100_6644
This reuse of a classic stenciled "Beware of Dog" signboard (taken from the Everest Kennel Club's common sign) made me laugh!

 100_6633
In this case, they used the stenciled sign as a template and made their own "Be Ware of Dog" signboard.

 100_6632
Same dog, different artist! 

 100_6629
A hound of a different color over the traditional Everest Kennel Club signboard.

These signboards are fast disappearing, all replaced by the ubiquitous Everest Kennel Club sign!

You can help stem this tide!   Most of the traditional work of Nepali signboard artists are being replaced by digital or mass-produced signage throughout Nepal.  

By ordering a commissioned portrait of your pet (dog, cat, bird, reptile, tortoise, etc) you give 3 Nepali signboard artists work.   You get a choice of 3 cool portraits hand-painted on metal and 3 artists get work.  

Micro-finance through art patronage!

Contact me at ampage1@gmail.com or find out more on my website at NepalDog.com.   Help save a dying art and have a piece of history.   These pieces have been collected by curators, art gallery owners, museum-goers and ordinary people with pets who collect art and want to make a difference in these artists' lives.


New Folk Art Obamas at the Santa Monica Museum of Art

The Santa Monica Museum of Art has a new stock of Folk Art Obamas from Nepal.

 100_4880
Above is Barack Obama as painted by Sagar of Kathmandu.  These are part of a limited edition that I commissioned in Nepal in November 2008, just after the historic election.  Sagar signs his pieces with a Japanese script meaning Ocean - the translation of the name Sagar in the Nepalese language.

 100_4812
What I began to notice is that each artist painted Obama in his own likeness.   Here is Sagar with his portrait of Obama.   Notice the similarity?    Sagar's Obama is older and darker.

 Obama by Sufraj 3
Obama the Green President by Sufraj.     Alternatively, as in the case of the Folk Art Obama above, the artist may paint Obama in an idealized way.   I had to keep telling Sufraj to make Obama darker.   When I photograph Sufraj for this project, I always show him the photo for his approval.   Often he shakes his head upon seeing his image and says "So dark".   

 Obama by Sufraj 2
Here we have a Folk Art Obama by Sufraj with a silver aura around our Enlightened President.  

When asked what he thought about painting Obama,  Sufraj Khajka said that it was' ekdam mito', meaning that it was a very pleasing experience. He claims that he has never made such a 'personal' painting before. He also stated that he has never done a painting of such a powerful person as Obama.

 100_6547
Here Sufraj poses with a photo of his 3 Folk Art Obamas in the Santa Monica Museum of Art shop.   He is very proud of his involvement with this project.    Sufraj chose to become a signboard painter.   It is more normal for the profession to be passed down as a family business.   I believe that he is my finest calligrapher at present.

 2008_143
Here is an example of his fine calligraphy.   Siggy the boxer by Sufraj.  

Sufraj also uses a lot of detail in his borders, where the red fades to pink at the top of the frame, and he likes to use a drop shadow for his lettering.  

The Folk Art Obamas are available exclusively at the Santa Monica Museum of Art for $300.   Each is approximately one foot square, painted with synthetic enamel on metal.   Click here for more information about the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

The Folk Art Obamas show the depth of the artists' talent.   They can and will paint any commission.   The only limitation is your imagination.   I have commissioned portraits of humans, houses, cars and pets -- even a movie poster on canvas for the re-released classic 'An American Hippie in Israel'.

This Fair Trade Art project is meant to help the endangered Nepali signboard artists to continue their profession in this digital age.  

For more information, please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com or to see more of the Nepal Art Dog project, go to NepalDog.com.


 


Why I love Nepal - Dog Signs on Gates!

 100_6553

This gorgeous Beware of Dog signboard was found while wandering throughout the back alleys of Kathmandu.   It is a perfect example of what I love about Nepal Dog Art and is typical of the inspiration for my Fair Trade Art project. 

 100_6557
Just around the corner was a completely different interpretation of a Danger Dog.

 100_6556
This wall was under reconstruction and they felt the need to put up a temporary sign.  

 100_6560
This artist must live nearby, as there are two different versions of the same (quite stylized) dog.   Horn Dog!

 100_6561
I can see why this artist is so popular.   Teeth, tongue, horns - this signboard has it all.

 100_6530
Beware of Beagle!   Who would have thought...   This lovely signboard is on its last legs and obviously not been respected what with those streaks of paint and all, but the patina is beautiful.   

 100_6529
Just around the corner from the Everest Kennel Club, the signboard in green is a stenciled sign that is replacing the older more individual and quirky hand-painted versions all throughout Nepal.    I would guess that the one beneath (in red) is an attempt by a young signboard artist to give the customers what they want, but still something different.  The business of Signboard Art in Nepal is usually passed down from father to son and the art can be a communal effort.   I think a young artist is practicing here.   I have often come by and seen one artist finishing anothers work.

 100_6527
Another example of a breed specific Beware of Dog signboard from Nepal - a Dalmation!

 100_6522
A green backed signboard.

These are all from one day's walk through the streets of Kathmandu in November 2009.   You have to go farther and farther afield to find these beauties.   Most of the new housing that has sprung up since the Civil War started in 1996 has the stenciled version from the Everest Kennel Club.   Though I do come across obviously new beware of dog signs.

I started the Nepal Art Dog project in 2007, to help continue the tradition of these wonderful works.   The signboard art industry in Nepal is quickly changing from hand-painted art on metal into mass-produced digital (dare I say soulless?) signage on plastic.    

I have commissioned over 1400 pieces to date from 58 different artists' studios.  

Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments, or to commission a piece.   Each commission is given to 3 artists, giving you a choice of 3 pieces and giving 3 people work.   I do not accept payment until you like one of the signboards, but the artists are all paid up front.  

You can also go to my website at NepalDog.com or see some of what is currently available at NepalDog's YouTube Channel.


Artists' Studios in Nepal

 AmarStudio_1

Above is Amar Shrestha's studio in Kathmandu, Nepal.   These are works in progress of Flick the Golden Retreiver, Moose the Rottweiller, Dexter the Coton de Tulear, Chester the Basset Hound, and Veera the Boston Terrier.

Flick and Dexter have been sold, but the others are available.   Amar's studio is on the second floor, he works in natural light, sitting on the floor.  That's a silk screening apparatus on the right bottom, where they make business cards the old fashioned way, on hand made Lokti paper.   Lokti paper, a specialty of Nepal, is also made the old fashioned way.

 BeniStudio
This studio is NK's and is located in Beni, a small but thriving town in the Myagdi province in Nepal.   The town supports at least 3 signboard painters.    Above is Jack the French Bulldog (looking like a pig dog), Gigi the puppy, Yoko the French Bulldog, and the last is another of Jack the French Bulldog.   The first two are still available.   NK finished the pieces with a dark blue background in the finished pieces.

 DilipStudio_423
Dilip Niroj at work on his Folk Art Obama commission in November of 2008.   The finished portrait was spectacular and sold immediately.

 HariPStudio
Here is Hari Prasad's work drying in the sun.    Many of these have been sold, the four portraits of the Great Dane's are in my personal collection, but the Collie and the Westie are available.

Hari's studio is in Kathmandu.

 LalKarkiStudio
This is Lal Karki's Studio in Pokhara, a lakeside resort town in Nepal.   I liked this photo so much that it is the cover of my book 'Danger Dogs from Nepal Volume 2'.   I really like Lal's work, but his pieces have never sold, so the Dalmation, Fox-like Dog and the Spitz are all still available.

 MeghRajStudio_340
You can see how close Megh Raj works to the street in this one!   Megh Raj works in Kathmandu, and recently he redid his studio completely, so it was very spiffy the last time I saw it this past November.

 PremStudio
Prem's studio in Pokhara no longer exists.   This studio was torn down and is now a bank.   The portrait of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Bearnese Mountain Dog and the Dalmation were all snapped up, but the Nepali dog, the Boxer and the Saint Bernard are still available.   I love the cow's hoof just outside the door.

 RamMohanPatelStudio
Ram Mohan Patel's studio is a room off his house where he lives with his wife, two beautiful daughters and a son.

 SufrajStudio_457
Sufraj Khadka cleans his brushes by painting anti-smoking graffiti on his walls.

 YubaRajStudio
This is the studio of Yuba Raj Adhikari of Pokhara.   These paintings are all portraits of rescue dogs.   I think all of the yellow dogs are still available, if they haven't sold yet at the Ghetto Gloss Gallery in Hollywood.   This group is a little larger than the standard size for these signboards at 12" by 15".   

 101_0647
Shree in his studio/home with a portrait of FloJo the Italian Greyhound on a couch.   Shree lives and works in this one room with his wife and 2 children.   The art on his walls always includes at least one Danger Dog.   The first time I met him, he had a painting of a 'beware of dog' sign on his wall.

The Nepal Art Dog project promotes the endangered art of Nepali signboards.   Signboards are painted on recycled metal, using synthetic enamel and are meant to hang outdoors.   Over 1400 portraits have been commissioned to date, giving these artists real work.   I have worked with over 58 artists.

On my last trip to Nepal, the Danger Dog commissions were the only art these artists were still hand painting -- all their other work was digital or printed on flex.   These artists can and will paint anything.  I decided to concentrate on pets as there was a tradition in Nepal already of 'beware of dog' placards and I knew that people would like them.

Each commission will be given to at least 3 signboard artists - giving 3 people work, the pet owner a choice and museum shops Nepali folk art.   No money is accepted up front.   If you don't like any of the 3 choices, you pay nothing.  

Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions.

This project is for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference in these artists' lives.

More information is available at NepalDog.com.