Bollywood kitsch art and Spanish master Salvador Dali are light years apart, but for Gurgaon-based pop artist Baba Anand, the progression from one to the other has been natural. Anand takes a break from his trademark Bollywood and tinsel film art to dabble in “Daliesque surrealist abstraction and solid art” in his biggest ever retrospective exhibition ‘The Major Arcana — A Fool’s Journey’.
Inspired by 22 famous compositions by the Spanish master, the show is testimony that “Dali can still inspire creative reinterpretations in the parlance of Indian contemporary art”. Baba, a native of Srinagar, came into limelight in 2001 with his Bollywood pop art show, Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai.
“I harboured this dream to recreate Dali’s art in my own idiom when I read a book on him at 13. After nearly five decades, I’ve realised my dream,” he said. The highlight of the exhibition is a series of 10 Daliesque doodles — Lips, Moon, Sun, Rose, Heart, Baguette, Clock, Butterfly, Cyprus and Animal. The icons are Dali’s patent motifs that are found in almost all his compositions. “You cannot call them Dali’s doodles, they are my doodles now,” Anand said.
The exhibit also features a tribute to Dali with three large-format visages of the artist in collage and tinsel-texture compositions, The Fool, The Magpie and The High Priestess. Another that draws attention is a recast of a head of Dali’s muse Mae West and a ‘lip’ settee in Barbie style installations. “I carried Dali’s favourite muse a step ahead,” the artist said.