Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mapping Sunil Padwal’s art journey

One of the top artists of his era, Sunil Padwal seeks inspiration from every aspect of everyday life, all that is even mundane - work in progress, pollution everywhere, fast changing skyline, noisy traffic, homeless people and animals stuck in today’s concrete jungle. The social schism makes him restless and prompts him to probe further and pose pointed questions in a continuous quest of convincing and lasting solutions to our lingering problems.

The artist worked on line drawings during his formative years. (He only recently started showing them.) Initially, illustration was his forte. He excelled in his professional stints as a visualizer, a graphic designer, and as an illustrator. The diverse roles he played came in handy when he finally took up art full-time.

Spotted by ardent art loving businessman Harsh Goenka for his unconventional style, the young and talented practitioner’s first solo drew critical acclaim. There was no looking back after that as he gradually established himself as an artist wit sensitivity and versatility. Born in Mumbai in 1968, he did his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Applied Art) from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art.

Apart from several solo shows, his work has been featured in many group exhibitions, including 'At Walden Pond', Gallery Beyond, Mumbai (2011); 'Paper Tongues', Exhibit 320, Delhi (2011); 'Public Enemy Number 1', Exhibit 320, Delhi (2010-11); 'The Way We Are', Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata (2010); 'Deep In Black', Galerie Muller and Plate, Munich (2009); 'A Sorrowful Mystery-Jesus Christ', NGMA, Mumbai (2000); 'Indian Contemporary', Visual Arts Centre, Hong Kong (2000); 'Flashback, Flashforward', a RPG show in Mumbai (1999); 'Fifty Years of Freedom', NGMA, Mumbai (1997).

Among his select participations are 'Master’s Corner', Jehangir Gallery, Mumbai; India International Art Fair, Delhi; ‘Contemporary Printmaking In India' courtesy Priyasri Gallery; 'Evolve’, Tao Gallery, Mumbai (all in 2010), and 'Harmony Show', Nehru Centre, Mumbai (1996-2000). A recipient of the Communication Artist's Guild (CAG) Award (1990), he was also the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Harmony show in 1998.

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