After being designated as the official chronicler of a secret cult that calls itself The Prophesaurs, Delhi-based artist Amitabh Kumar found himself in the centre of rumours and theories formulated by the group. This provided him with enough creative fodder to develop a range of ideas for his latest set of murals, titled Talab.
“The show is part of a larger body of work called Projectile Prophecies. The Prophesaurs have been prophesising for the past couple of years. Talab is the final prophecy, and is almost like a fractionalised swansong of the cult,” explains Amitabh.
He further adds that Talab, the word, means addiction, search, and thirst (in Urdu). “It is indicative of a movement towards something, as opposed to arriving somewhere. It is this movement that the project is trying to trace,” he says. For the show, Amitabh has been working at the venue (The Diesel store at Juhu) for a week now, producing his artwork on the walls of the showroom. “The exercise of working overtime produces its own terms of success and failure. The process so far has been quite linear, that is, the first drawing is the weakest and the last drawing the strongest,” he explains.
Talab constitutes some beautiful, intricate artworks, which have been painstakingly made over several days. Ask Amitabh if it bothers him that the end product might not be perceived or understood as he wants them to be, and he says, “Art doesn’t produce meaning. It produces effect and that can take whatever meaning the viewer wants it to. I try and give a simple framework by way of a concept note or a story, but what the viewer takes away is largely of their own making. My job as an artist is to get the works to a plane that makes this exchange of meanings easier.”
Talab is on display at the Diesel store in Juhu till the end of the month.