Art Musings is presenting a solo exhibition of New York-based artist Raghava K K entitled Brooklyn Bound R Train, opening with a preview by invitation only on 16 December 2009. The show continues till 20 January 2010. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with Art Musings after an extremely successful and critically acclaimed exhibition Drawn and Quartered in October 2008.
A self-taught artist, Raghava has worked in genres as widely disparate as painting, installation, film and performance. He started his career in 1997, as a cartoonist with Indian national dailies, and over the next decade, would reinvent himself to use several different mediums. He received a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation to create a permanent exhibition of his works in the Bronx, New York, and another from the American India Foundation to premier his performance art piece Anthropomorphism. Raghava was invited to exhibit his works at the Carre d’Art Musee d’Art Contemporain, France. He has lectured at several art institutes, including the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Nimes, France) and the New Hampshire Institute of Art (Manchester, NH, USA). In this current year, he has participated in several exhibitions including Purdah 2.0 in New York City, as well as a solo show in Santa Fe, USA in July 2009. Raghava was also one of the artists being represented by Art Musings at the India Art Summit in New Delhi, August ‘09 along with senior artists like Anjolie Ela Menon, Nalini Malani and Baiju Parthan.
Raghava made a decisive move to New York City, where he is actively engaged in its art scene. While in New York, his meetings with notable veterans in the art world as we know it today, including Alain Kirili, Ariane Lopez-Huici, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company, has sparked the new series about which art historian and critic Gitanjali Dang says:
"Having travelled and lived extensively across the globe, Raghava is hardly a stranger to any shore, including the one where he is currently domiciled. At 17, Raghava caricatured and backpacked his way across Europe. In the years that followed he travelled with great regularity to here, there and just about everywhere. Brooklyn Bound R Train may sound like a hidden track off of Jay Z’s newest album but it really is Raghava plugging into his new reality. And although
several visits to New York City had already been made, never before has he lived there at length and been so entirely inundated by it."
Out of the 4 series that make up Brooklyn Bound R Train, one of the series is a wall painting called Dead End Dogma, a room converted into a blackboard. In keeping with the transience and dynamism of his new habitat, both Raghava and his guests will continue to modify the piece over the duration of the show. "I'm not a teacher or a preacher. I'm just a curious mind. Come, let's teach each other," he invites his audience.
Raghava KK speaks about New York and his new series: "I can't think of a more harsh reality than the crude, cattle-like, modular, transient existence in New York city. You live and die every three months. You emerge stronger, more beautiful, and more real. My works cannot remain the same after I have moved here. The subway, the crowds, the temporality, the non-spaces, the graffiti, the coffee shops, the parks, the parking-meters, all have become a strong part of my reality. My Indian-ness now is turned inside out, and I'm viewing myself from the perspective of New York City. New York has a natural way of filtering out the weak.”
Raghava has been invited as a speaker at the TED Conference (2010) in Long Beach, CA as a part of its 25th anniversary year. He will go down as one of the few Indians honoured to speak at the prestigious TED Conference that invites some of the greatest thinkers of our time to present their ideas. (More information at www.ted.com)