Painting walls, cutting clothes, and wondering if there is life on Mars

“In my teens I used to love dressing up for school. Between my sister and me, we had many clothes..mostly from Esprit. Shopping at the big Esprit factory and headquarters in San Francisco in the mid-80s was a big thing. Esprit was hot and edgy then. The clothes were colourful, quirky, and stylish. Every month our dad would drive us to the factory and we’d buy bags and bags of clothes.”

“In addition to this my dad and uncle had their own clothing label – New Moon (which I named after Duran Duran’s single New Moon on Monday) so my sister and I would get first pick with samples they no longer needed. We always looked for stuff that was stylishly absurd. Elsa Klensch from CNN Style was our hero and British Vogue was our bible. I had a clothing calendar for a while to help me forecast my outfits for the coming weeks. But by the time I entered college, my focus turned away from clothes, and I focused on only artsy stuff. These days I still love quirky fashion but my mind and money is spent on art. When I visit NYC or Europe, I come back with a suitcase only full of art magazines/books and other art-related stuff like vinyl toys and supplies. There is no room for new clothes or shoes in my bags.”


Jas Charanjiva,38. Graphic artist.
Jas paints art on walls, gives lectures on underground art from around the world, conducts workshops on stencil graffiti art, and wonders if there is life on Mars. She also recently helped organize an underground art festival in Bandra, Bombay..called “The Art Conspiracy” with The Art Loft.

Childhood and influences
Ever since I was 6, I wanted to be Mick Jagger. Debbie Harry from Blondie was my punk fashion hero besides Vivienne Westwood. First part of my childhood was spent in Toronto where I got my first taste for Brit Rock through my teenage cousins who would gather every friday or saturday night in different basements for a listening party. It was during this time I discovered artists such as David Bowie, Queen, The Police, The Who, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Pink Floyd. I was 6 then. Second part was spent in Northern California where I was left to my own devices to discover new and old music while my classmates enjoyed top 40 radio. I got into new wave and alternative rock like Aztec Camera, Haircut 100, English Beat, Duran Duran. By the time I turned 12, I made friends with some skateboarders and it was the art work on the skateboard decks that got me interested in underground art and graffiti. I studied Film and Communications in college though my mom always wanted me to go to an art school which I never did.

Cutting clothes
During summers I would sit at one of my dad’s boutiques with my mom. Once, when I was 11 years old, I was bored so I tore up a big old army sack that had a serial number and address stamped on it and made a mini skirt out of it. I wasn’t a good seamstress, so whether it was my purpose or not, the skirt had a deconstructed punk look to it. I loved it. I hung it on the rack and waited for customers to stumble upon it. Apparently no one loved it as much as I did because it never got sold. After a few days I think it got tossed in to a bin.

Now, when I’m desperate for something new, and I have only an hour to get ready, I cut up an old t-shirt from my husband’s closet and throw it over a pair of jeans and heels.

What’s “Life on Mars” about?
Life on Mars – Factory of Art+Design is my studio (which I’m setting up as soon as we move into our own place) where I’m cranking out characters for an urban lifestyle product line and creating original art.

Inspirations
David Bowie, Tokyo pop, graffitis, vinyl toys.

Inspiration behind the artwork at Yellow Tree
The theme is based on the obvious factor “heat” as it gets really hot up here. I’m still finishing this room and will probably keep working on it until it’s time for the construction crew to come in, take over, and convert this entire space into an art gallery/studio.


All these photos are from the room above Yellow Tree..the walls of which Jas is working on.
Yellow Tree is a cafe in Bandra where a sandwich costs 300Rs.

Jas is wearing a 6 year old top from DKNY, pants from Bebe, Havaianas flip flops from the island of Ibiza.

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3 Responses to “Painting walls, cutting clothes, and wondering if there is life on Mars”

  1. Subramaniam Says:

    I absolutely enjoyed that. Also, 300 for a sandwich?!

  2. Ranjit Says:

    I already like the work…and Jas of course !

  3. ateev Says:

    cool. its fun to cut up clothes.
    i really like yellow tree cafe even though it is overpriced… beautiful colours.

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