Just as haunting as these lines, Sanjeev's works initially jolt the senses of the viewer, before urging the onlooker to re-view them with a sensitivity that comes from an empathetic heart that understands the pain that another human mind can experience. After a hiatus of 6 years, he seems to be sharing the experience of the period that he spent, away from the prying eyes of the world.
Sanjeev seems to be questioning himself about his beliefs in various aspects of life and the purpose of existence. Dealing with human emotions, political and historical situations, he seems to be searching for answers to the questions that life seems to have thrown his way. Compelled by the artist within him, he takes to the canvas and brush and pours his emotions on the surface that, perhaps, succeeds in providing him the solace that he is searching for.
His works display a western technique which gets enhanced with his Indian sensibility. The Realism depicted in his works encompasses various influences that have inspired him and gestate in his subconscious mind, yet he has created an idiom that breaks itself free from all precincts. An emotionally charged dream like stage depicted in his works creates a Surrealistic impression that at times seems to be hitting hard and at other times seem to be part of some senseless state of stupor from which one wants to wake up. It is amazing to watch the contemplation with which Sinha expresses many disturbing aspects of present societal paradoxes. Taking objects like toys that children play with, he symbolizes innocence that instantly brings gentle thoughts but showing the same objects being the target of violent and brutal assault, he hits hard on the society that prefers to remain a silent spectator of all the gruesome issues that need to be attended to with utmost urgency. The murder of innocence in the present world that Sanjeev shows with speared teddy bears forcefully shakes each one of us out of complacency and compels us to instead act and take charge before there is nothing left. The innocent eyes of the bears tug at the heart and urge one to reflect on matters of the contemporary world.
Rooted deep in his culture, where Mythology and Deities are a part of daily life and nothing seems to move without veneration to the deities, Sanjeev brings these images alive and cleverly places them in juxtaposition of a fantasy world like that of Alice in Wonderland along with a world steeped in faith. Again he places the innocence of a Barbie doll alongside the ferocity of Goddess Kali.
He exhibits the perfection of his technique of Realism in the detailing. The precision of his stroke can be seen in the peacocks that form the background of a circle of a beautiful plumage that encarders two horses, one dark and one light, with their reflection in water that seems more to be an expanded tear-drop. There seems to be an eerie silence in the inner composition that stands in contradiction to the beauty and shrilling call of a peacock. He simultaneously depicts sadness and joy of life symbolized by the roses and peacock that speak of emotions of love and romance.
His inspiration comes from objects of daily usage that makes his sensitive mind ponder over the philosophical aspects of life. Even a seemingly banal object like a Matchstick makes him relate it to life situations and he thinks of it as a plank of wood that acts both as a saviour, and takes the stranded person to the safety of shore ,and also as the carrier of fire that could destroy all. Again he delves into the thought process of looking at forces that could be both the saint and the devil residing within all.
His works philosophize the Moment of Present which is like a Butterfly that is beautiful and happy; hovering over the flowers, enjoying every moment that is part of a very short life .He depicts butterflies flowing like blood even in the body, that though perishable experiences the beauty of Love. He places "Ladybug' in his compositions as a symbol for sensuality .Being inspired by the Freudian Theory, he uses different symbols to express sensuality in his works. Looking at his works is like entering a world that says "Tread with Care, for there is beauty and pain on the roads less- travelled".
His travels to different parts of the world find their expression in his works. Depiction of Calligraphy, Korean Clouds, Tibetan flags, Buddha's head, the world of Flora and Fauna, Mythology et al, find their place in his compositions. They are the tools with which he expresses himself. Watching everything around him as an outsider, his works give a peep through the lens that generally remains black in the foreground, thus being in direct interaction with his works and creating layers of depth on his canvas.
Strongly affiliated to Realism and Surrealism, these works become part of an Oeuvre where one gets to see the strength of his technique of painting. Coming across as a mature draughtsman, he handles realism and abstraction on the same platform, with great dexterity. Sinha is constantly reminding of the conflicts that life exposes to, by showing the opposites together. Beauty with ugliness, uncertainty of a life that might be long or short, sadness and joy, sensuality and total lack of sensitivity towards Love, Life and Death, all hold a place of same distinction in his works.
Through his works Sanjeev Sinha seems to be asking himself "What is he'? Is he a mere spectator or a participant? Is he Optimistic or Pessimistic? He keeps pondering on many sensitive questions and asking himself - "AM I …….? " It is difficult to remain unaffected after watching his works as they force one to think. Perhaps ask the question to one's own conscience - AM I ………?
Anurag Sharma, the Founder Director of United Art Fair has been keenly observing Sanjeev for some time and the quest of this artist, which made him take the decision to share his question - AM I ……? , in the form of an Oeuvre and brings this exhibition to the viewers that is not only a discerning one but also Sensitive.
Sanjeev Sinha's work was on display at India Habitat Centre till May 3, 2013.