Rajan Krishnan and Justin Ponmany are two contemporary artists from their generation who produce highly impacting works.
Rajan Krishnan’s painted works show a reclaimed earth just after humanity has chosen to abandon it. His haunting paintings inevitably attain to the changing and ravaged landscape, as manmade settings are fast occupied and deserted in a hurry in the pursuit of obviously something better.
His ‘Substances of Earth’ at ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ show (Saatchi Gallery, London) is a colossal acrylic work. It offers stylized forms and a dull palette. The detail recalls part of the grand canyon even while showing a landmark that has been taken over by some animated insects. The surface of it seems overwhelmed by these curious creatures that have covered the landscape. Boulders of rock here seem to resemble a carcass that has been laid out on the face of the mountain.
On the other hand, Justin Ponmany ‘Staple Agony II, Plastic Memory’ is a work of art, which might seem to have arrived from a Radiohead song lyric. A hooded figure’s solitary shell in it’s seated right at the center of an enclosed space with what seems to be a ubiquitous industrial staple-gun. Floating in the foreground, it’s illuminated in orange.
Justin Ponmany’s practice is marked by a Darwinian approach. It reorganizes and also reinvents reality. Re-branding by digitizing, the artist skillfully duplicates figures in an eerie electric landscapes stylized beyond comprehension – almost - were it not for those reoccurring markers as well as motifs of skyscrapers and figures, which appear in his work.
Using silver holograms, plastic paints and rich pigments of color along with distorted photographic negatives, he is as keen on the production of his art works as he is in the object, which then exists and haunts us.