Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An artist who portrays harsh realities

Jagannath Mohapatra, whose works put up by ICIA drew spontaneous responses from visitors at Art Expo India 2009, is known to be an artist who follows his heart. He remains faithful to his inner instinct instead of resorting to gimmicks in his works. This is probably why he has managed to hold the attention of art critics and connoisseurs in spite of his maintaining a low-profile thanks to his distinct style and subject matter.

His paintings make the viewers pause and ponder over the fact that even as our progressive nation, clamoring for a superpower tag, rightly boasts of its monumental achievements on eve of the completion of sixty years of freedom, there are harsh realities of our socio-political existence that cannot be ignored. He puts forward his views through his paintings, but leaves it to the viewers to draw their own conclusions.

A student of history, Jagannath Mohapatra chooses painterly themes that are contemporary in context. This sensitive and socially conscious painter creates thought-provoking works that act like a mirror, and make the viewers confront the harsh realities of life. His visual realm is invariably linked to the realities of life.

Providing an insight into his works, senior artist K. G. Subramanyan has mentioned: “He belongs to the generation of young painters who ground their visuals on the unreality of the realistic image that they encounter in billboards and hoardings, in trade journals and television commercials, or at least, a transformed, jazzed up, over-stated reality, now cloyingly romantic, now tantalizingly intriguing.

“Some of them doctor these images with arresting juxtapositions or incongruous insets and envelope them with a covering of cynicism or a critical comment. Jagannath Mohapatra is one of them. However, his paintings neither have a cynical tone nor have any open critical content. His paintings are mostly soaked in the dissembling juiciness of this second-line reality.”

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