• Abbas A Malakar

The Story Matters: Introduction

The story behind a work of art makes it valuable. Without the story it is nothing. Then again, not only a work of art. Everything in this world is valuable because we attach a story to it. A context, a history, makes something acceptable or unacceptable.

Through this series I will try to identify how a story influences an artwork. How an artwork is improved upon or complimented by a story or even twisted out of proportions.

I first found out how much a story means through a linear progression of three simple events.

I went to Kala Bhavana and saw the pillar made by Radhakrishnan. I immediately disliked it and told myself it was a waste of bronze. I didn’t want to look at it and I didn’t want to know who had made it. This was the first event. The second was I went to a library and read R. Siva Kumar’s biographical tracing of Radhakrishnan’s works. I was immediately impressed and took a liking to the artist. The third event was that I went to the pillar once again- this time with the knowledge of the artist’s other works and philosophies. Now even though I still do not quite like the pillar, I have found space to appreciate the work.

The story changed my perception of the artwork, as it does for all.

As this is just an introduction I would like to leave you with a series of images. All the images have a story of their own. Some stories may not be familiar to you. Some may seem ridiculously obvious. Just look through them. Think.

Why do you like or dislike the work?

How have you been conditioned to perceive each of them? What micro or macro social events have forged your perception of the following people, visual and audio visual works of art and entertainment?

Mona Lisa

Vincent Van Gogh

Pablo Picasso


Die Hard



Jogen Chowdhury


David Hockney

Jeff Koons


Injustice Superman

Christian Bale's Batman and Heath Ledger's Joker

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Harper Lee

Quentin Taratino

Iron Man I am Iron Man

Wes Anderson

Star Wars

Grey's Anatomy

Game of Thrones


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