Exclusive: Artist and curator Bose Krishnamachari's first solo in nine years is a study in consciousness
Acclaimed artist and curator Bose Krishnamachari’s first solo exhibit in nine years is opening in the City of Joy. The multi-faceted Malayali painter is also the founder and President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation. “I actually complete three decades in the world of art this year. I had my first exhibit in 1989!” Bose tells us as we drop in at the Kolkata Centre for Creativity on a weekday morning to catch a glimpse at his much-talked about exhibit, which follows his mobile museum project, LaVA (Laboratory of Visual Arts) which was a giant reading room dedicated to the visual arts and art history.
In his current body of work, ‘The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark’, Bose experiments with form and material – in which he shuttles among word, image and assemblage, between minimalism and maximalism. The artist confronts the increasingly extreme discourses that shape our consciousness, at the level of the individual, the community, the religious group, the nation-state.
“From the chaos, we make order. Extremities co-exist in my life as well, and I’ve taken that inspiration from my own life. I was born in a small village in Kerala; there, for instance, when you look at performative art there, like the Kathakali, you see maximum form and colour. Then again, when you look at the Veshti and Mundu, it’s extremely minimalistic. Through this work I look at how we’re dictated by our obsessions, I wanted to sensitise this with the nine rasas or the nine emotions,” Bose tells us.
The artist has also made use of a very diverse range of materials, from the Aranmula kannadi, which is a traditional hand-made metal-alloy mirror often used for festive occasions, to Braille work in graphite. “Bose is not just an artist, he is the biggest art philanthropist I know. In this project, the thought essentially talks about how there’s maximalism and minimalism in everything; his treatment of materials is challenging. Take the braille, for instance, it’s been done in graphite. Then there are hints of neon, there are metals like ceramic, wood and they have very interesting interplays,” says Richa Agarwal, Executive Director, KCC and CEO, Emami Art.
The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark will be held till March.