NEWS AND FEATURES

A group show of works by contemporary artists at Sakshi


Mumbai based Sakshi art gallery is a presenting a diverse range of works by contemporary artists done in different styles, forms and themes. Work by Sumedh Rajendran, Shibu Natesan, Valay Shende, Reji Arackal. Mithu Sen, Sunil Gawde and a host of other artists is on view.

In Shibu Natesan’s works, there is a simulation that resembles the original to a startling degree, but which in fact prompts a set of readings contrary to what was intended, thus displacing the meaning without significantly altering its appearance. Things are not what they actually seem to be; the actuality and sanity that they once claimed is now suddenly suspect.

He opts to work as a realist employing two strategies – detachment and directness. His details tie his subjects to a concrete reality. However, this adds a certain emotional distancing. Viewing the artist’s paintings create a feel of magic realism. His ‘real-ness’ is literal. Yet it does not appear familiar. His canvasses are spaces inhabited by the presence of a starkly felt absence.

Artist Reji Arackal’s paintings can be termed humorous statements, as they capture human beings in certain peculiar situations, and slowly turn into objects in themselves. Those figures in conjugation become abstract or even geometrical forms. The artist quips: ““I like fun. I like (to make) ironical statements.”

Working around her attention and affiliation to concerns of individual interiority and broad femininity with a touch of eroticism, Mithu Sen deftly draws sexuality from diverse objects - living as well as inanimate. She does so sensitively, displaying a smart sense of political acumen laced with witticism and sarcasm.

According to her, the humor in the work is meant to invite the viewer to play and interact with the ideas and meanings of 'self'. The artist pursues the idea of self and the influence of society on the development of her own personality.

Emerging and talented artist Valay Shende believes that an artist is bound to the society. He feels that they have a role to play in recreating an ideal world. Out of this sense of responsibility, he wishes that the audience reflects upon the social issues plaguing man today, which is what his recent works tend to achieve.

His creations are a subtle attempt on his part to question the maladies, which afflict modern urban society and humans. A keen and sensitive observer of his surroundings, his works reflect the concerns about the common man’s trial and tribulations faced in day-to-day life.

Sumedh Rajendran confronts diverse issues, such as ecological and urban atrocities within the contexts of Indian city life. His works revolve around an assemblage of techniques and disparate materials. The tactility of the artist’s meticulously crafted objects brings to fore various issues even while compelling the viewer to experience the pleasure and unease, comfort and suffering simultaneously.

Sunil Gawde's paintings are about ideas and his feeling for them. The artist does not want to connect them with the concepts of Zen Buddhism or meditation. As he has once stated: “My paintings are about becoming so to say. As an artist you need to express. You can select any medium, which you can handle. You are like water. You get in any container and assume its shape. I am into what I am doing. I follow this thinking.”

His working methods share as much with fine arts as with the craft. While applying paint, he makes uses the trowels and scrapers used by masons and house-painters. These implements give his pigments a layered depth; paints are piled and cut, creating dynamically textured surfaces.

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