Sunday, December 23, 2012

Three of India’s emerging talented practitioners

While referring to India’s emerging talented practitioners, another name that invariably crops up is that of artist Navin Thomas. The introspective and innovative creator is known to experiment with an array of forms and mediums. For example, at an unconventional residency program organized by KHOJ art organization, he was one of the sound artists invited to experiment with their medium.

Driven by a visual world, a whole new world of sensorium was opened up in front of viewers. Other than his preoccupation with voice culture, automation, and sleep cycles, the artist is known to keenly explore the mesmerizing sound worlds of different organisms. He often draws his inspiration from the sudden element of surprise in order to arrive at something unexpected and keep the viewers engaged. The deliberate merging of exterior stimuli with inner thoughts is a strategy that he skillfully employs to achieve this.

On the other hand, Amarnath Sharma often depicts caricatured scenes drawn from daily life. Elaborating on his artistic process, the artist mentions: “I work in a photo-realistic mode. I draw different images from ubiquitous urban locations and lives to reposition them in a new context. They together tell a totally different tale with an element of surprise to it.” The images and the inputs, which he grasps through a multitude of sources like magazines and television, act as a starting point to most of his works.

Weaving these images and references into a combined meaningful output forms the core of his complex process. A mere photorealistic rendering without any artistic agenda does not interest him. He recreates and relocates the known and the imagined visual references, filling them with alternative meanings. His compositions, largely figurative, comprise ubiquitous characters, sometimes larger-than-life. The artist looks to create a paradox on canvas by juxtaposing contradictory or supplementary images. He says, “I perceive and portray reality in such a way that the viewers get to know a hitherto unexplored side of it.”

Another noteworthy artist of his generation, the 1961-born Chandra Bhattacharjee completed her studies at Kolkata’s Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship and got a gold medal in 1986 from the Rabindra Bharati University. His compositions are largely influenced by traditional tribal or rural themes owing to his deep associations with communities like ’Santhal’. His paintings exude a textural quality reminiscent of mud walls of the remote villages. The artist has had several solo and group exhibitions of his artworks in India and internationally, in South Korea, Tokyo, Toronto Singapore, and New York.

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