We were drawn to Gaurab’s work for his imaginative illustration of the early American jazz scene. He captures this period with a warmth that’s missing in today’s representation of popular music. You might mistake it for nostalgia. However, he didn’t witness any of this first hand. Gaurab’s a 25-year-old graduate from Camberwell Collage of Arts with a passion for drawing, skateboarding, and jazz.
The work he’s created for us is part fantasy, capturing the spirit of Hawaii. Look closely and you’ll notice a young Mike Lundy strumming the bass whilst singing a melody, people dancing freely and cocktails served under a tropical sunset. We popped into his print studio for an hour to catch him action, here are some photos and a Q&A.
The screen print is an edition of 25, each with a unique sunset, dimensions 30 x 42cm. Now available in our shop.
Cedric Bardawil: Where are you from and what’s your background as an artist?
Gaurab Thakali: I’m based in South London and originally from Nepal. I’ve been drawing for the most part of my life, but only realised in my teen years that I could pursue it as a career, making living out of what I enjoy doing.
We were drawn to your work through a series you did on the post-war era, the early days of jazz, prohibition bars and venues. Where did this interest come from?
I think the ideas stem from my general interest in Jazz music in the 1940s to the 1960s and pretty much everything that had connections to it. I suppose the cutting-edge music that was being written and played at the time by the incredible musicians like Monk, Bird, Bud Powell, etc the list just goes on and on, had a lot of influence, and also the tragic lives they lived dealing with drug addiction, prejudice, social injustice was enough for me to make a body of work to highlight or in some way celebrate their lives.
There’s an interesting use of colour in your work, is this always intentional or does it come through trial and error?
I think it’s half and half, there certainly is intention to paint or print in particular colours but trial and error is definitely part of it too and it helps in keeping work fresh and pushing it in new directions.
What was on your mind when sketching the Soul Time In Hawaii design?
Hawaii has the reputation of being a chilled place with the beach, sunset, palm trees, and cocktails, etc. All those things came to mind when sketching out the roughs, I then worked out the composition of the image and the little details fitted well.
What are you inspired by at the moment?
I guess my friends who are around me doing interesting things are inspiring to me, I’m also really into expressionist painters at the moment.
Check out our week-long series of events celebrating the two year anniversary of Soul Time In Hawaii.