16th Feb 2009 - 28th Feb 2009

Bombay Mumbai and The World Of Mario



 "Where there is humour I will do a cartoon. But when I do structures, I don't do cartoons… I enjoy drawing much more than cartooning”.     Mario did not become a cartoonist.  He was born a cartoonist.  Without any formal training, drawing figures has been an irrepressible compulsion of his life.  


Mario the cartoonist, creator of Miss Fonseca, Bundaldas, Miss Nimbupani and a host of other characters is well known. But only a few know Mario Miranda the illustrator and documenter of life as he sees it.


When Mario De Miranda first began to draw figures, he used neither a pen nor ink and paper.   He made do with such things as bits of charcoal from the kitchen fire, or even a finger dipped in mud, and drew his figures on the walls and floor of his house.   To stop him from disfiguring the walls and floors of his home, his mother bought him a note book and a box of pencils to work off his urge to paint. 


Mario began to draw pictures even before he learnt to read and write.  He got busy filling his notebooks with drawings to express his thoughts.   These were his diaries – a pictorial record of his journey through life.  


During his 50 years in Mumbai, Mario was the chronicler of this great city, capturing its uniqueness.  From its physical state to people - socialites, politicians, businessman and ordinary citizens were captured with great humour and affection. His works were not only confined to dairies, journals or newspapers but have been blown up as wall coverings in various restaurants, soft sculpted into clay creatures, printed on souvenirs like plates, cups, and key chains.  


Mario has travelled widely and sat down in cafes, nightclubs, marketplaces to draw scenes from local life in cities, which to most of us may be only names.   


Mario wears his age with ease.  Fame, or at any rate, recognition of his artistic talents has come to him in the form of numerous awards, citations and trophies - The Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan and Government of Goa Award, to name a few.


This exhibition showcases Mario's evolution as an artist and displays over 8,000 of his drawings through folios of Mario's diaries - a treat for the art lover, his stint with the Times of India and his various travels abroad.   This exhibition is a continuation of the previous one and includes an entire section on Mumbai through Mario’s eyes.