Ways of Seeing
Chintan Upadhyay’s paintings and 3D works have a streamlined perfection that signifies mechanical reproduction. Colors can be garish and while his artworks often appear playful they nevertheless have disturbing undercurrents. The artist focuses on particular motifs, most recently the image of babies, and includes fragmented references to local Indian culture. The affect is typically one of a brash visual overload, like advertising imagery that makes explicit an otherwise implicit vulgarity.
Upadhyay is concerned with the nature of the designed: contemporary technologies of replication. The image of the baby or infant is an appropriate symbol. It can represent innocence and is understood as typifying the natural. In Upadhyay’s terms, both these states have become obsolete in our age of globalized values and because of a pervasive sense of the simulacral. In a word, we are divorced from the realm of the real or authentic. Upadhyay renders aspects of Rajasthani miniature paintings as tattoos on some of the figures he paints to suggest history and identity are markers that are consciously worn. That is, cultural and social understandings are claimed as not emerging inevitably or naturally.
Upadhyay’s art, however, is not one of a crisis of contemporary values. And he is certainly not concerned with nostalgia for more authentic times. Rather, and like much of the best of international contemporary art, his artworks serve a critical prompt about the world we live in.
E H Pushkin
Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Puskin EH took Masters in Painting from the Fine Arts faculty ,M.S. University ,Baroda. Participated in several group shows in India and abroad Conducted two solo shows in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. Presented his graphics works at the international Environments Summit during its Montreal and Jordan chapters in 1995 and 2000 respectively. He volunteers since the past ten years
with an NGO, rescuing, protecting, and rehabilitating animals from trade, hunting, extinction etc..... and has exhibited paintings and posters for their care and rights.
Currently lives and works in Thiruvananthapuram.
Hema Upadhyay is a polymorphous artist, employing all manner of media and methods such as painting, photography and installations that have included cockroaches, artificial limbs and car scraps. Themes of displacement and isolation, underlined by a sense of potential violence, frame this Mumbai-based artist’s work which is otherwise distinguished by a great sense of intricacy and fragility.
Born in Kerala in 1966, Murali Cheeroth Received BFA and MFA in Painting from Kalabhavana, Santiniketan . Held three solo shows in Ahmedabad, Panchagani and Kashi Art Café, Kochi Respectively. Selected Group Shows:’ Real 2006’,New Delhi, 2006;’Second Coming –Quotable Stencil’, Mumbai,2005; ‘ High Fly My Beloved Birds’, New Delhi, 2005;’Recurrence’, New Delhi,2005;’ Elements New Delhi, 2005;’ Sofia International Biennale’ Bulgaria, 1998;’ National Exhibition’, New Delhi, 1998. His works are in several private collections in Japan, France, Canada, Thailand, Holland and India.
Sheba Chhachhi creates digital tapestries of cross-cultural imagery drawn from mythology, history and contemporary life. The Delhi-based artist often employs a primitive animation device to create hypnotic movement and her explorations of fractured narratives and symbolism are wonderfully set in robust sculptural forms.
T M Azis
Originally from Kerala, T.M. Azis is known to create human figures interacting with the other elements in a painting. Figures or objects performing as symbols spinning around allegories as conceived by the artist. He creates paintings, which record what might be ordinary, everyday occurrences, contemplated by him. A certain insight into behavioral thought, we realise that there is a world different from what see – the world that exists in our minds. It is interesting to note that there are no decisive tactics, no fixed strategies in his work. Azis allows himself to be influenced by places around him and situations that he encounters.
Vidya Kamat’s practice is an on-going inquiry into the ways the human body (and the attendant complexities of self-hood) is ‘written’ by symbolism. Significance is derived from the layers of meaning that can and do veil the human body. The artist suggests that perhaps there can be no understanding outside these layers; no ‘pure’, unmediated relationship to the body.
Alongside this insight, the centrality of not only the female body but the artist’s body, the use of appropriated imagery and the correlation of image and text links Kamat to artists who have been variously informed by and informed feminist theory. At issue is the cultural construction of the female body and notions of femininity. Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger are two references. However, Kamat can be distinguished from these precedents in terms a sensual engagement with the female body. Moreover, she doesn’t resist a sense of authentic drama in favor of concerns with the simulacral. In this respect, and in line with the photographs of her contemporary Pushpamala N, we should note that masquerade and performance form part of an Indian rite of passage in terms of ritual and religious heritage.
Kamat offers a contemporary and culturally nuanced advance on her feminist precedents. The artist tells us that while the body may be shrouded in myths, there are pleasures as well as critical insights to be understood.
Born in Akola district of Maharashtra in 1963, Yashwant Deshmukh, currently based in Mumbai, completed his Bachelor of Fine Art from Sir. J. J. School Of Art, Mumbai (1983-88). In a career spanning close to two decades, the talented artist has crossed many milestones. In 1993, he won Bendre- Husain Scholarship Award, Mumbai. In 2001 he was Invited to participate at: "3rd Biennial Bose Pacia Modern Prize, " The Exhibition Of Paintings Organized By Bose Pacia Modern, New York (USA).
Born in Kerala,The artist has completed his BFA from College of fine arts, Trivandrum-1994. MFA from the faculty of fine arts, M S U, Baroda-1997. Solo shows: Fragments form the devastated land- Dravidiya Art Gallery, Mattanchery, Kochi-1997. Threatening existence- Zen studio, Elamalloor-1999. Paintings, drawings and graphics- sponsored by Kerala lalitha kala akademi at Durbar Hall, Kochi-2000. Open studio-navaratna apts, Bangalore-sponsored by Swiss and bangalore artists group-2003. Recent works-curated by Kathleen Wyma (University of British Colombia, Canada)- Dravidiya Art Gallery, Mattanchery, Kochi-2003.