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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Young at art

It is no small coincidence that three prominent galleries across the city are hosting the works of young and upcoming artists.

Written by Georgina Maddox | Published: January 19, 2009 2:38:34 am

Catch them early and watch them grow seems to be the mantra for today’s art scene

It is no small coincidence that three prominent galleries across the city are hosting the works of young and upcoming artists. Clearly it’s a trend predicted by many of the art honchos: “The recession will provide a platform for younger artists,since not only are their works more affordable,they also have potential for growth,” says Sree Goswami who had predicted this trend in 2007 just after the recession.

True to her words,she’s hosting a solo show by a relatively new name,Mahesh Baliga. It also fits the character of her gallery Project 88 in Colaba,since Goswami is known to promote new talent.

Other shows to watch out for are the works of Sanatina Mendes and Lokesh Khodke two young artists showing at Hacienda Art Gallery,Kala Ghoda,and Guild Art Gallery,Radio Club,respectively. While each artist has an individual style,it is interesting to note,all three are from the MSU Faculty of Fine Arts,in Baroda.

Baliga is a Karnataka born artist whose works deal with the everyday. “My works are mostly about looking sideways at the overlooked. The triviality of our day to day life bringing out incongruities that appeal to me.

I try to subvert and disrupt the conventional mode of narration in my work,” says the 27-year-old.

A king,clad in a flowing lemon-hued robe,turns away from the viewer. A portrait of a figure without a face. A woman in a verdant sari sits peering outward; again no facial details are discernable. Leaving things unstated is Baliga’s way of involving the viewer.

Mendes believes that if her works are able to draw in viewers then she has succeeded. “If my paintings have the ability to call you closer and make you want to converse with it,this would suggest a space of collaboration,” says the 26-year-old whose solo opened with a big attendance from Baroda on Friday night.

“My paintings bear little similarity to the photographic images that trigger or provoke the idea of the work. This is because in painting the image,there are many other factors that then come into play,which also relate to my engagement with formal concerns—where colour and texture and space also become poetic voices of dissemination,” says the artist.

She also chooses to leave her native Goa for the more stimulating environs of Gujarat.

Mendes draws from both a political and social conscience expressed in the narrative tradition that is the hallmark of art from Baroda.

No surprises then that Bhopal born Khodke’s canvases are not only enigmatically narrative but have a flair for dramatic Surrealism. His solo The Three Worlds and Other Spaces is an overt commentary on the inequalities of gender and caste. Using the myth of the Das Avatar of Vishnu the artists weaves a complex narrative that critiques the hierarchies of the past in context with the discrimination of the present. “I have addressed the notion of the three worlds,a concept that shaped much of my world view while I was growing up. Though my works are more constructed and less free-flowing my concerns have not wavered,” says the 30-year-old confirming that clarity and focus has nothing to do with age.

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