I’ve been out of action for a while trying to deal with a physical aliment. You know what they say… As you grow older, you slowly die inside. While macabre might be my mood of the hour, it is certainly on hold as I type this blog post. Meet the Puppeteer behind Puppet Diaries.
The democratic digital age has granted us access to a world of knowledge in every form and fashion. More importantly, it has given us, each and every one of us, a blank canvas. I like to think of us as artists of sorts – digitizing our lives, putting on a show, making unabashed statements and performing “live”.
Then again, there are artists, in the dictionary sense of the word, who have taken platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and turned them into permanent galleries. And this particular artist, going by the name of reluctant puppeteer recently took to Instagram to exhibit an alter ego.
The protagonist of the series is bejewelled, pink haired puppet head called Karl (that resembles our favourite fashion moghul). He is a nomad, comfortable in his own skin, who travels the circumference of the planet making astute observations and hilarious connections. As of Nov 2016, Karl has travelled to Mykonos, Sydney, Kumbh, Deoghar and Yinchuan. Like the rest of us mortals, Karl even went to the bank in India.
The puppet and the puppeteer feed on adventure to bring a timely documentation of travel… more whimsical, mighty aesthetic and delightfully ironic if I may add. (#ExtraInfo: Wanderers are my favourite kind of people).
I cannot stress enough on the impeccable eye behind the lens. In most of the imagery, I find myself instantly yet frantically looking for blingy Karl… a “Where’s Valdo?” like urgency that thrills when I find the puppet, only to discover the world around and beyond him.
When it boils down to it, here’s what the project is essentially about, according to their website –
A traveller, explorer and a curious soul, the Puppet Diaries is a reflection of the artists’ innate desire to set aside an ongoing serious artistic practice, and bring some comic relief with this parallel project.
Although, I might not be able to tell you if reluctant puppeteer is a girl or boy (like it matters), I can however let you in on an email interview with all the scoop…
Where did the reluctant puppeteer meet Karl, the puppet?
During a trip to the Kumbh Mela, Karl happened to be with my travel group. I have always been apprehensive of being photographed, and so decided to use Karl as a front to capture my travel experiences. Since then, he has been the forefront of my travel adventures.
Tell me about Karl’s first adventure. The first time I started documenting Karl was overwhelming, but also ethereal. More than a subject, Karl is my expression through which I experience all these new destinations.
Why does the puppeteer remain to be anonymous?
In a very bizarre perspective, Karl is a part of my own personality and nature. It is not Karl as the public icon of fashion with which I am relating, but as a character that can create humour for me, and generate curiosity among the viewers too.
How would you describe puppet Karl’s personality versus your own?
Sometimes funny, often cheeky yet also a bit of a thinker. Now that I’m thinking about it, I guess you could say there are similarities!
What do you love the most about the real Karl?
There is no real Karl. Karl is a combination of all the places and people I experience through my travels.
Update Dec 7, 2016
Look who’s travelling. It’s Princess Pea x Pero doll and she’s exploring Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2017.