‘The Legacy of Photojournalism — The Deepak Puri Collection’ starts today in Delhi at Exhibit 320 in Lado Sarai and will be on display till November 15th.
The first time I met this man, he was already the stuff of legends. I met him in the office which was synonymous to him – the TIME magazine bureau in the omnipresent Press Trust of India (PTI) building near the Indian parliament in capital Delhi. There was this short, stout yet imposing man, whose office walls were as chic as it could get – with the kitchsy and the modern, almost Victorian and jabberwocky at the same time – lined with works of seminal photojournalists of our time. James Nachtwey, Sebastião Salgado, Steve McCurry and Raghu Rai, you name them and they were there.
The cub reporter in me was overawed, I was hunting for a job after having made the long train journey from Calcutta, the man they called Deepak Puri had a reputation akin to Thor from Asgard (Pico Iyer writes: “…the only person on the planet who can make mountains move, and, in the process, bring them to Mohammed”) and as I was almost beginning to crumble under the halo and begging to hope, the man said a few words which took the tension out of the room and back to Asgard.
“Chote Dada, do you want some chicken tikka? You are in my office and here we become friends over food.”
Since that day in early 2002, I became Deepak Puri’s ‘Chote Dada’. I have been one of many lucky beneficiaries of his gregarious friendship who would open doors with two phone calls or one email. He airlifted journalists from conflict areas, he would break the ice even in a California wildfire, he would have numbers of airline groundstaff and secretaries in the offices of heads of state on his fingertips and he still packs a punch with his unparalleled ability to make friends and grow vegetables in his farmhouse in the same breath.
Every time I visited his office, his photography collection captivated me, it enamoured my world view and lulled my senses to a planet which now will be indexed on the walls of the Tasveer Gallery in Bengaluru – a world of iconic reality where a kiss suddenly turned into ecstasy. Deepak Puri – A friend, legend, philosopher and guide to some of the most iconic photographs of our generation – has donated his collection to Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bangalore.
Therefore, as the pictures come for public viewing On September 26, it comes with a name very apt: The Legacy of Photojournalism — The Deepak Puri Collection.
Till October 2, they will be in Bengaluru before they travel to other cities. Next Stop is New Delhi from October 28 where the exhibition previews at Exhibit 320 in Lado Sarai and will be on display till November 15th.
F- 320 Lado Sarai, New Delhi – 110030
Monday to Saturday 10.30 am – 6.30 pm
Opening and Private Preview: 28th October 2015, 6.30 pm
Exhibition continues: 29th October – 15th November 2015
In conjunction with the exhibition a new publication, produced by Tasveer in collaboration with MAP, will further be launched — to serve as a catalogue and commemorate the donation of this remarkable collection to the museum. Carrying two new original essays by Pico Iyer and Ned Desmond, and a foreword by Tim McGirk, it will also include additional reproductions from the larger museum collection, aside from those already part of the show.
1. The Statue Seller
The Statue Seller, Pamela Singh, New Delhi, 1998 (© Pamela Singh, Courtesy MAP / Tasveer)
2. Through The Lense Of James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey’s photograph from Sudan, 2004 (© James Nachtwey, Courtesy MAP / Tasveer)
3. T S Satyan’s Collection
T S Satyan’s photograph from Mumbai, 1970 (© T S Satyan, Courtesy MAP / Tasveer)
4. Ami Vitale’s Photography
5. Coal workers in Dhanbad
Coal workers in Dhanbad, Bihar by Sebastião Salgado in 1989 (© Sebastião Salgado, Courtesy MAP / Tasveer)
6. Maha Kumbh Mela
Sadhus at the Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, by Prashant Panjiar, 2001 (© Prashant Panjiar, Courtesy MAP / Tasveer)
7. Veiled Woman Walks Through The Ruins In Kabul
Ruins of Kabul, Afghanistan, from civil war by James Nachtwey in 1996 (© James Nachtwey, Courtesy MAP / Tasveer)