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Indian Art, Craft and Photography
S. D. (Shi Da) Phadnis and his Laughing Gallery
S. D. (Shi Da) Phadnis and his Laughing Gallery

Like every person in Pune, Shi Da's cartoons was an integral part of growing up and this would have been the case for a couple of generations. At 90, he is going strong with his latest show getting inaugurated at Bal Gandharv Kaladalan, Pune on 24th November 2014. The inaugural event was well organised and the efforts put up by entire Phadnis family were evident.

I had very few occasions to interact with him. He came across as a simple, soft and a thorough gentleman and a very straightforward person. I had invited him once to deliver a talk for a workshop organised by Indiaart and do a demonstration of the art of cartooning. He gladly accepted that invitation and the audience was very thrilled.

Shi Da's work has been widely appreciated through numerous exhibitions, books, magazines and periodicals. The sheer consistency of his work raises the bar for all and also inspires you to work more and harder. While I was at the show, I realised that I made mistake by not working with him closely all these years. I hope to make amends by creating a separate category for Cartoonists in Indiaart. The first two great names to be added will be Shi Da Phadnis and Vasant Sarwate. Incidentally, both share a great friendship.

As someone said in the speech at the inauguration of this exhibition, every cartoon makes you stop by and brings a smile on your face. What bigger success can an art exhibition hope to achieve in any case?