Artist Prasoon Poddar was always intrigued by the water outlets seen outside several shrines across India. He found it interesting how the wall in the background was often pasted with posters, trying to attract the attention of the thirsty. At Arpana Caur’s Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, he has replicated one of these walls on his canvas. Titled Lal Wall, he paints it with words and posters, with the metal tap in the centre. “When I look at public places, this is one of the first pictures that comes to my mind,” says the Delhi-based artist.
The 32-year-old is one of the 13 participants showing his work in the exhibition “Unexplored Spaces” at the Academy. Organised by World School of Design, the exhibition is an outcome of a week-long camp held in the Delhi-based institute in January this year.
Curated by artists Ajaya Kumar and Abhimanue VG, the display has no uniform theme, but is a coming together of diverse ideas and issues. If Abhishek Narayan Verma comments on the absurdities of everyday life and politics in his canvas that strikingly has a rocket painted with the words “for our people”, Uday Singh paints nature and the urban landscapes. Speaking on the diverse issues addressed by artists, Kumar says, “Art in the time of opacity moves intrinsically to extreme directions which might seem to represent the opposites. Distinctly personal and conspicuously social/political are the two extremes of this diverging trend, which is basically the manifestation of the opacity of our times.” In his own work in the exhibition, Kumar paints a dancing peacock. “It is a natural rendering. The idea was to create a vision that represents a vibration of colours,” he says.
There is abstract too — in Chetnaa’s monochrome graphite works as well as Abhimanue VG’s abstracts with thin black fencing within the frames in bright hues. The viewers go back home with a question posed by Anjum Chaturvedi, in her canvas painted blue, where she asks, “Is there a blueprint of happiness?”
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