Friday, May 17, 2013

An artist’s concern for socio-environmental fall and fallacies

Born in Orissa in 1969, Alok Bal's childhood was spent in the midst of nature, surrounded by lovely hills, dense forests vast cultivated lands and beautiful riverbeds quite in contrast to the present realities. After securing a formal degree in Commerce, he decided to study art. He completed his B.F.A. (1998) followed by a Post-Diploma in Painting from M.S. University, Baroda (2001).

His recent selected group shows include  'Angkor Wat: An Indian Perspective', Gallery Art and Soul, Mumbai (2012); 'Freedom to March: Rediscovering Gandhi through Dandi' courtesy Ojas Art at Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi; 'Irreverent Gene', Crimson- The Art Resource, Bangalore; 'Symbols and Metaphors', CIMA, Kolkata; and 'India Rising: Tradition Meets Modernity' courtesy Ati Art Gallery (all in 2010). Among his recent participations are 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai  (2012), and 'Art Celebrates 2010: Sports and the City' courtesy Anant Art at LKA, Delhi to coincide with the hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

Recipient of the National Scholarship, (Human Resource Ministry) in 1998, the figurative artist was initially influenced by British pop art and that in the US, but he gradually found his own idiom, artistic vision and voice. Experimentation plays an important role in his practice. Summing up his artistic inclinations and creative processes, Alok Bal states: “I observe and absorb things around, unconsciously or intentionally, and build my work around an ‘idea’ that serves as the starting point of my creative process. It comes from within and gradually becomes an integral part of me.

"I sketch and draw quite a bit before I actually begin a painting. One thought leads to another, and so does my painting. There’s a definite connection and a progression. As ideas reinventing and replacing themselves, my style and painterly technique may accordingly change. However, the underlying philosophy remains the same. Apart from a touch of playfulness, there is a conscious effort to retain the spontaneity in my work, which prevents it from getting stereotyped.”

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