Amit Desai ~ India

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Artist and poet Amit Desai was born 1977 in India, as a member of the Brahmin class. He spent his early childhood on a mango farm in the state of Gujarat before moving to America. He grew up in Valley Stream, New York but now lives in India.

By Amit Desai and Rodolfo Zalla
Hong Kong: Stephen Cheng, 2014. Edition of 500.

9.5 x 12.75"; 68 pages. Bound in leather, gilt edges, stamped gilt title. Words and calligraphy by Amit Desai. Illustration by Rodolfo Zalla. Introduction by Stephen Cheng.

Prospectus: "thtru is a collaboration between American artist and poet Amit Desai and Brazilian comic book artist Rodolfo Zalla. Late one night in 2006, on a boardwalk in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Amit wrote the words that would eventually become the text of this book. It took six years and a trip to a different hemisphere to find the other force necessary to bring it to life. At the age of 81, the godfather of Brazilian horror comic books, Rodolfo Zalla, broke the boundaries of an art form he had long since mastered....

[thtru] combines handwritten calligraphy with drawings, turning it into a metaphysical comic book.

C1 Enterprise: "Don’t let the beaches and bikinis fool you. Brazil is a bloody land full of ghosts. There is an indigenous South American legend that tells of two majestic birds. The condor, bird of intuition, spirit and nature, and the eagle, bird of science, technology and progress. According to the myth, the eagle has flown high and the condor low over the past 500 years. It has been a period of conflict and bloodshed, marked by the discovery and conquest of the New World. A new cycle of 500 years is prophesied, during which the condor will rise again to fly together with the eagle in harmo ny. Some believe we have just entered this new era, an age of peace.

"Born from a dark night on Venice Beach, Los Angeles and the seedy underbelly of Sao Paulo, thtru is a bridge between two worlds. A world of lunatics, whores, junkies and transvestites, beautiful abandoned buildings and soaring cathedrals. Like a gothic church, thtru combines startlingly vibrant colors like stained glass windows with the horrifying imagery of purgatory and hell, and turns the naked vulnerability of a prayer into a comic book that transcends the genre."


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Dear God
By Amit Desai
Hong Kong: 2013, Stephen Cheng. First edition.

Boxed set of 7 books: ASCENSION (64 pages, 177x130mm); IN THE HOLE (68 pages, 177x177mm); INFECTIOUS (84 pages, 150x200mm); THE SEA AND ME (44 pages, 150x177mm); PAPER TRAIL (100 pages, 150x100mm); PASSWORD (68 pages, 150x130mm); MONEY (60 pages, 115x150mm). Books embedded in an outsized folio with cut out forms in which the odd-sized books rest. Each book leather bound with gilt edges. Box in black cloth with title stamped in gilt on cover.

Found photographs with poems. Printed with a variety of techniques, including stenciling, hand writing, and photograms, and each then collaged with photographs, photocopies, and ballpoint pen drawings.

Publicity statement: "DEAR GOD is the second major work in a trilogy about America made by artist Amit Desai, during his ten years on the road. Books embedded in an outsized folio with cut out forms in which the odd-sized books rest.

DEAR GOD began in 2005, after one of the deadliest storms in the history of the United States, Hurricane Katrina, devastated the Gulf Coast killing thousands and leaving many more homeless. Amit was down in New Orleans at the time working on his first body of work America Sutra. It was there in a flooded church that Amit found the first collection of photographs in the DEAR GOD series. From these photographs he made Paper Trail and began this body of work that combines seven original prayers with lost photographs found by Amit during his ten year road trip across America.

"This body of work was made during a period of intense spiritual crisis in the artist’s life and each book in
DEAR GOD represents a journey from the darkness to the light. The techniques used by Amit to bring his words and the images he found together was part of an experimental process he had developed over many years of making art out of collected scraps and writing in his journals which he called Dumpster Diaries."

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Page last update: 11.04.15


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