Art exhibition: Keep it Real explores the relationship between reality and artistic languages

Visionary artists, with their distinct areas of expertise, unite under the common banner of exploring reality in its multifaceted splendour

Sakshi Kaithwas Published :  17th November 2023 11:05 AM   |   Published :   |  17th November 2023 11:05 AM
Artwork by Swathi Bheemani

Artwork by Swathi Bheemani

Reality acts as the guiding compass shaping our comprehension of the world and ourselves. It fosters connections built on genuine experiences, shared emotions, and unfiltered truths. Yet, the perception of reality is inherently subjective, differing from person to person. Unique experiences, perspectives, and emotions mould each individual’s interpretation of reality, creating a personalised lens through which they engage with the world. In art, reality is the silent muse that whispers inspiration to the creative spirit. Get ready to explore the interesting relationship between reality and the diverse artistic languages of realism at the upcoming art exhibition — Keep it Real.

Visionary artists, with their distinct areas of expertise, unite under the common banner of exploring reality in its multifaceted splendour. From canvas to sculpture, about 10 artists from different parts of the country, navigate the intricate dance between what is seen and what is felt, inviting you to peer through the portals of their realms of perception.

Mumbai-based artist, Vikrant Bhise, known for his dedicated focus on themes related to Dalit issues, will show his painting — Labour Leader. His artwork depicts a group of individuals, and amongst them stands a figure adorned in sheer blue attire — BR Ambedkar. Notably intriguing is the artist’s choice to render the faces of these individuals invisible, adding an element of mystery and prompting viewers to contemplate the broader narrative. Vikrant tells us, “I have tried showcasing sanitation workers, particularly those involved in cleaning, maintenance, or inspection of sewers and other underground infrastructure. If you look closely, I have shown dirt on their clothes. The painting also serves as a poignant portrayal of Ambedkar, depicted as a guiding light who entered the lives of these workers and millions of others, effecting transformative changes.”

Painting by Vikrant Bhise

Another artist Namrata Arjun, who is currently staying in Chennai, is contributing with her artwork — Playing God. They (preferred pronoun) share, “During the pandemic, I began making these paintings as a response to the collective act of revisiting family archives. Analysing our family photographs, I discerned a pattern: women were shown performing rituals or dressed as objects whereas, men were associated with possessions like bikes. To disrupt this narrative, I introduced my own body in a first person perspective, challenging the conventional gaze.”

Painting by Namrata Arjun

Namrata continues, “Realistic painting serves as a deliberate choice to scrutinise the supposed reality depicted in these photographs, unveiling the performative nature of gender, culture, tradition, and identity within the confines of the photograph.”

West Bengal-based artist Arjun Das is also displaying his art in the form of wood relief carving. Extremely passionate about narratives related to migrant labourers, Arjun uses visual references from Indian cave architecture to portray the historic recurrence of political power oppressing the working class. He says, “I have portrayed the famous Hatibagan market in Kolkata, a bustling hub where a diverse array of workers — labourers, car painters, plumbers — congregate to ply their trades. In this marketplace, they find a space to work and establish a presence, identifiable by the tools they carry. Through my depiction, I aim to question or restate the way these tools become the identity of workers.”

Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, curator of the gallery and the exhibition, tells us, “Art, as a reflective medium, traditionally serves as a societal mirror. However, the intention here is not to limit the exploration solely to political or social dimensions. In a broader context, the focus is on anticipating what unfolds as reality traverses through the realms of images and surfaces.” The other artists who will be showcasing their work include Swathi Bheemani, Anjaneyulu G, Tauseef Khan, Akhil Mohan, Deena Pindoria, Harun Al Rashid and Shanthi Swaroopini.

Free entry. November 18 to December 31, 6 pm onwards.

At Dhi Contemporary, Kakatiya Hills, Madhapur.

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