In the last couple of years, more and more artists of the younger generations have chosen to wear their politics on their work-sleeves. A show of five below-40 artists at Exhibit 320, a new entrant on Lado Sarai's Gallery Mile, highlights such political statements with high drama.
None of them shy away from hitting out at the violence and gutlessness that seem to have become commonplace in Whining India. And they do it with some relish. There's Rajesh P.S.'s genuflecting wooden man whose iron backbone wouldn't bend over, Akshay Rathore's glowing ball of barbed wire, Tarun Jung Rawat's menacing raven as a 'bird of will', Vyom Mehta's 'chandelier' of glowing battle-tanks, and Hetal Chudasama's bed under a field of low-hung needles.
Rathore, 31, says he was disgusted with the art that followed the India Shining spiel half a decade ago. “There were hardly any questions of identity raised at the time,” he says, as Tarun Jung Rawat, 36, nods in agreement.
So this set of five artists, picked over the summer by gallerist Rasika Kajaria and curator Ranjita Chaney, have reacted to the conspiracies of silence.
Another thing is common with the artistic zeitgeist — the artist's refusal to be tied down to a medium. So wood, metal, art paper, newspaper, threads and more that have gone into the five artworks apart from paint. And as such, it's difficult to identify the artist through the 'style' — except in the case of Rawat, 36, whose idiosyncratic verses and collages are there at this show, too. And that enhances the sense of drama.
Art Makers 2, at Exhibit 320 till August 31. 10.30 am to 6.30 pm, except Sundays.