Phantasmagoria, a new art show, features works by artists who explore the idea of reality in the age of simulation

Curated by Bhavna Kakar, art historian and founder of the gallery, the show is an explosion of colours

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  05th November 2021 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  05th November 2021 06:00 AM
Farhad Husain’s Magical Childhood Memories

Farhad Husain’s Magical Childhood Memories

Ever since the pandemic hit, the world has been surviving through the colourless gloom. Hence, the festive season this year comes as an opportunity to reclaim the colours of happiness, and the exhibition Phantasmagoria by Delhi-based gallery Latitude 28, is the perfect metaphor for this. The virtual and offline exhibition showcases a selection of vibrant works by artists Dileep Sharma, Farhad Husain, George Martin and Pratul Dash. Curated by Bhavna Kakar, art historian and founder of the gallery, the show is an explosion of colours and justifies the title Phantasmagoria, which signifies dream-like images.

Bridging the divide
Bhavna says she had been discussing the concept with the artists who are also her friends. “In the times that we live in, it is imperative that certain paradigms be relooked at and questioned. The contemporary world is full of ‘simulated realities’ especially with the growing popularity of digital and VR experiences. The dichotomies between simulation and reality are decreasing. And taking cues from this, the works included in the exhibition are an assemblage of motifs that come from traditional schools of painting as well as from popular culture,” she explains.

Each artist has attempted to look at this dichotomy through the creative lens, and their work is an extension of their comprehension. “There is an element of fantasy in all the works. For example, Dileep has reimagined Frida Kahlo and adorned her with nimboo-mirchi (lime and chillies) earrings,” says the curator. Dileep uses pop culture icons and symbols to create a stark sense of satirical humour that aims to initiate conversations about today’s realities. The watercolour titled The Portrait of Frida Kahlo, is a representation of this thought.

Life in colour
Speaking of other artists, Bhavna says, “George has explored music, sound, photography and imagery, while Farhad has created paradoxes in his work by juxtaposing motifs of mundane images with pops of bright colour. It is a comment on the consumerist society and our cultures. One common factor is that these artists are unafraid to use colours, because in recent times, the minimal aesthetic has become a part of the contemporary art scene which I follow too, but this show has taken everyone by surprise.” When asked what viewers can take away from the show, Bhavna says, “Hopefully, viewers can create their own fantastical images from what they see in real life after viewing this show.”

Until November 15. Details online