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Artist Profile2
Creating a paradox on canvas
Amarnath Sharma’s compositions, largely figurative, comprise ubiquitous characters, sometimes larger-than-life. “I place them in a familiar territory, and explore their emotional realm. I like to keep the subject matter uncomplicated. My aim is depict the drama of everyday life at a subtle level,” the artist reveals.

He elaborates, “Though I employ found and readymade images, a lot of thought goes into divesting them off their intended meanings. I place them in an entirely new context and reinterpret them. The visuals are chosen and then churned to convey a hidden meaning to the viewers. My aim is to explore contemporary themes, concerns and characters. Accordingly, I choose motifs and imagery to create a paradox.”

A case in point is his show, titled ‘Men at Work’ (2006) hosted on ‘theartstrust.com’, depicting mindset of new-age professionals, and their constant struggle to stay afloat in today’s extremely competitive world. According to Amarnath Sharma, it was an effort to fathom their inherent insecurities. He adds, “The paintings also capture their indomitable spirit even as they encounter and sometimes succumb to challenges of demanding jobs.”

Also noteworthy is his series of works in which he used luxurious, bright and breezy images like party scenes where the people are lost in the razzmatazz. The artist adds, “They seem to be savoring life. But I look beyond the happy masks they wear, and depict the emotional vacuum inside.”

This young and talented painter, now based in Baroda, hails from Bokaro, Bihar. He studied B.F.A. in Painting and also completed his masters from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University in 2002. He has received several prestigious awards, including an award from Patna College of Arts in 1995 and the Nasreen Mohammadi Award for Painting in 2000. Apart from having featured in several group shows, he has also participated in the 2006 RPG Artist Camp as well as art camps in Turkey and Thailand.

Amarnath Sharma often depicts caricatured scenes drawn from daily life. Elaborating on his artistic process, the artist mentions: “I work in a photo-realistic mode. I draw different images from ubiquitous urban locations and lives to reposition them in a new context. They together tell a totally different tale with an element of surprise to it.” The images and the inputs, which he grasps through a multitude of sources like magazines and television, act as a starting point to most of his works.

Weaving these images and references into a combined meaningful output forms the core of his complex process. A mere photorealistic rendering without any artistic agenda does not interest him. He recreates and relocates the known and the imagined visual references, filling them with alternative meanings.

The artist prefers to work in the diptych formation, often on a large scale. He employs solid forms and defined patterns to achieve a sense of balance in his works, mostly acrylics on canvas. Meticulous attention to every minute detail is a hallmark of his paintings. His palette comprises sombre shades. According to him, the subject matter and the space definition are equally important.

Amarnath Sharma creates a paradox on canvas by juxtaposing contradictory or supplementary images. He says, “I perceive and portray reality in such a way that the viewers get to know a hitherto unexplored side of it.”

Summing up his artistic philosophy, the artist states, “The politics of reality has the touch and smell of photographic and other media-related images. It’s an artist’s extended vision that looks to construct and reshape perceptions of the present.”