Monday, October 1, 2012

Challenging gender identities and existing hierarchies

The socially conscious practitioners of the new generation boldly encounter the complex world around them. Their works often emerge as metaphoric introspection of today’s society, or as candid communication on the various issues, confronting us.  One among them is Simrin Mehra-Agarwal.

At the heart of her artistic vision is a fragile tenderness. The realm is emphatically tragic, occasionally exuberantly joyful and relentlessly bizarre. It brings out the evocative power of her powerful figures and ideas. Her powerful idiom coupled with a bold vision look to challenge gender identities and existing hierarchies. The works are often metaphoric condemnation of today’s society, taking the viewers on an erotic odyssey they perhaps might be inhibited to embrace.

Her compositions appeal not merely at the sensory level, but also strike a chord at the intersection of reality and mystery, to create a mystical surface pregnant with suggestion. Her paintings are largely built around curious human figures and intriguing images of ubiquitous people. These are characters that tend to leave a lasting impression, and she emphasizes that the aim is to transpose or dislocate these individuals from their routine life, to relocate in her imaginary realm.

Her oeuvre largely tends to engage itself with a rather jarring theme of discomforting urban anonymity as the artist tries to capture the inconvenient claustrophobia of the rapidly changing and ever-dynamic and frantic, albeit frightening city life. It’s a riveting reflection of the confused mindscapes intermingled with vast cityscape through an engaging array imagery depicted on her canvases.

According to her, the collision of the imaginative and real gradually gives shape to a new image. She adds, “I make a conscious effort in my works to investigate the individual, the hidden personality and the dynamic development of the self.”

Elaborating on her art process and motivation, she has stated, “Exploring new places not only adds newer elements to my creations, but also allows me to make it more diverse. The process itself is as vital to her as the creation itself to her. She loves to experiment and has dabbled into digital and video art, photography, printmaking and mural painting.

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