A Jamaican high-jumper has dedicated his life to the sport. He toils through the day to perfect his skill. But evening his heart is heavy as he looks at his sole bronze medal.
This character designed by celebrated graphic artist and novelist Sarnath Banerjee, 42, is one of the subjects of his series of art works titled Barwa Khiladi (The Twelfth Player) — A Gallery of Underachievers, which will be showcased at Project 88 from October 1 to November 4, alongside a few fresh works that combine drawings and text based on the central theme of celebrating losers.
“My losers work very hard, do the drill but just do not win,” says Banerjee.
Some of the works in this exhibition were displayed on 48 huge hoardings across London during the recent Olympics, as part of a public art project titled The Gallery of Losers, in sharp contrast with the many advertising projects that laud winners at the Olympics. Banerjee’s project steps into the loser’s shoes and celebrates his efforts.
Banerjee, who is currently living in Berlin to avoid stifling visa restrictions imposed by the Indian government on his Pakistani wife, artist Bani Abidi, says he plans to give up using only drawings as a medium of creating art, after this exhibition.
“Drawing is coming very easily to me,” says Banerjee. “Artists have a tendency to get too comfortable in their zones. I do not want to fall into that trap. I want to challenge myself.”
So, the artist plans to use sound, film and theatre in his next art project, to be exhibited at Mumbai’s Bhau Daji Lad museum next year.