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SADAK: Hand Painted Street Signs in India By Aradhana Seth

SADAK: Hand Painted Street Signs in India By Aradhana Seth


ARTISANS’ is thrilled to launch the book, SADAK, with a presentation by Aradhana Seth, and a reading by Dr Kajri Jain. SADAK showcases Aradhana Seth’s photo archive of hand-painted signs, together with biographies of the artists who created them; accompanied by a critical essay by visual culture lecturer Dr Kajri Jain; and artist Francesco Clemente.

“Since the 1990s, hand-painted signs in India – one of the defining elements of the country’s urban landscape – have been largely replaced by more technologically advanced media. Today, they survive in a vernacular culture quite distinct from largescale digital productions. The work of the sign-painters represents a visual itinerary through the historical-economic changes of Indian society over the years; paintings that emerge in vivid shapes and colours and humanize the sharp aesthetics of the subjects and objects of globalized capitalism."

"The book showcases a part of artist Aradhana Seth’s photographic archive: a multitude of designs on shop shutters, doors, signs and the walls of various places of interest and businesses. Produced over the past few decades, the images are split into three thematic sections: commerce and services, culture, and nature and landscape. Complementing the publication are biographies of Raza Abbas, Praveen Chauan, Prashant Janardhan Dalvi and Shakeel, just some of the artists who created the paintings photographed; a critical text by visual culture lecturer Kajri Jain, outlining the theoretical framework within which to interpret these visual forms, as well as an autobiographical text by artist Francesco Clemente.” Humboldt Books

 About Aradhana Seth

Aradhana Seth is a filmmaker, visual artist and designer. Her production design credits include Angry Indian Goddesses, Vara, West is West, Don, Admissions, Easy, Leela, Everybody says "I'm Fine!", Earth and Fire. She has had solo shows at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai and Sunapranta, Goa, among others. She has made over 18 documentary films and co-produced a photography book India Mexico: Parallel Winds, featuring the work of top international photographers.

About Kajri Jain

Kajri Jain is Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on images at the intersections between art, religion, vernacular business cultures, and politics in modern India; she also writes on contemporary art. She is the author of Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar (Duke University Press, 2007) and Gods in the Time of Democracy (Duke University Press, 2021).

Published by Humboldt Books, 2023