BENGALURU: While several great artists have taken to art after getting their heart broken, a UX designer in the city confesses to have fallen in love with painting after his college crush.
“I started painting seriously when I was in college. I had drawn a long portrait of my college senior. I had a crush on her. So, that is how art happened. I did several exhibitions during college and I used design for posters etc,” says Manoj Mohan, who is exhibiting his artworks at Urban Solace. His exhibition titled 2BY2 hosts paintings of ten bikes, one from each decade starting from 1940s to 1990s.
The engineering graduate never attended art school. He started painting during his residential schooling near Munnar. Bikes have always fascinated him. He owns a Royal Enfield. “I made many friends. We used to ride with no fixed plan or destination. I kind of got hitched because of the bike. My wife started dating me partly because I had a bike,” he says.
He says that he might do another exhibition on bike series since he feels holding just one does not do justice to them. His show features paintings of Yezdi, Java, Rd350, Bajaj Chetak and Royal Enfield. Manoj feels most of the early bikes have not been well documented and he had to research through a team at BHP- an automotive website for his exhibition.
A conversation with his friend’s grandfather inspired the series. “He saw my Royal Enfield and started talking fondly about his bike Matchless. No one in the room had heard about that bike before. The man was full of life and talked about how he used to go everywhere on this black bike,” Mohan says.
This is when Mohan realised that people like being reminded of their past and he figured out that motorcycles were the best way to clock back memories. “If someone had owned one, this series would overwhelming for them,” he adds.
Manoj, known by his nickname Jojo, after the character Mojo Jojo from the cartoon Power Puff Girls, clicked pictures of the bikes before making a painting of them for the exhibition.
The Lambretta model A is from the 1940s. “The first model was probably from the year 1942. The 50s had the Matchless bikes. Rest of the bikes featured are from the 1960s. The Rds are from the late 70s. Royal Enfield started in the 1980s. Chetak scooter's art gives an Indian angle to my exhibiton,” he adds.
The exhibition is on till August 31 at Urban Solace, Ulsoor.