Painting human desires
Five celebrated artists, Atul Dodiya, Chintan Upadhyay, Jayasri Burman, Rekha Rodwittiya and Riyas Komu, select India’s most gifted new artists.. in discussion with Reema Gehi.
There’s a gradual transformation on the art scene.. I see a lot of diverse artwork happening. While some young artists seem to be impressionable, there are a few artists whose works are thoroughly original. Like video artist Shumona Goel. She does installations of film, video, photographs and sound. Even though these are not the media I work with, I find the intimate quality behind her work very moving.
The artworks by Kerala’s Ratheesh T are also very strong. I enjoy the magic of surrealism in the narrative of his works. He paints oil on canvas and understands the medium, completely.
* Shumona Goel (33) grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania. Recently, she shared her autobiographical works titled Family Tree — inside an old-wooden apartment in Colaba — which she based around her alienated life in the U S.
Currently, she is making another short film, using different objects to create sound.
* Last year, Ratheesh T (28), graduate of the Thiruvananthapuram’s
College of Fine Arts, exhibited a show titled Moving Earth at Colaba’s Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke. Right now, the artist is working towards another solo show.
Delhi’s Sakshi Gupta and Baroda’s Lochan Upadhyay are extremely talented and their styles are distinctive. The material they use intrigues me. Both use metal scraps, plywood, and even plastic bottles to create wonderful artworks. Believe me, they’ll leave a mark on the art world.
* Sakshi Gupta (29), who regularly showcases her works at Bangalore’s Gallery Ske, has completed her Masters in Sculpture from Delhi’s College of Art.
* Last year, Lochan Upadhyay(25), displayed his works at Museum Art Gallery. Curently, Baroda’s M S University graduate, is transforming his drawings into sculpture.
Baroda’s Sonatina Mendes has brought back the understated. In the climate of trauma and violence, hurt and bewilderment, that we find ourselves in today, she positions a meditative vista.
* The solo works of Sonatina Mendes (25) open at Kala Ghoda’s Hacienda Art Gallery in January, next year. Mendes studied art at the Goa College of Art and Painting and later at Baroda’s Faculty of Fine Arts. She has been awarded the Nasreen Mohamedi Award.
It has to be Bangalore’s KK Raghava. I visited his exhibition titled Drawn and Quartered this September at Colaba’s Art Musings Gallery. I was spellbound. His acrylics on canvas were seeking imperfection. He doesn’t feel it necessary to strike a balance. That’s very different from the societal norms dictated to us. I’ve huge faith in his works.
* The self-taught artist KK Raghava (28) is planning to shift base to New York, and revel in the melting pot of arts. He’s working towards research-related art. So far, he has worked in different genres such as painting, sculpture, installation and film.
The works of Baroda’s Sathyanand Mohan and Bangalore’s Minam Apang are outstanding. They come from diverse backgrounds and articulate the purpose behind their art, differently. Even their mediums vary. While Minam inks fabled tales on archival paper, Sathyanand explores the complexities of human desires through sculptures and oil on canvas.
* Sathyanand Mohan (33) was recently granted the Research Fellowship 2008 by FICA. The M S University of Baroda post-graduate is also an art writer. He’ll soon be showing his works at Colaba’s Guild Art Gallery.
* Two months ago, Minam Apang (29) showed her surrealistic works titled War with the Stars, at Colaba’s Chatterjee and Lal Gallery. Soon, she plans to film a documentary in her hometown in Arunachal Pradesh.