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Upcoming and talented artist Ratnadeep Adivreka
Upcoming and talented artist Ratnadeep Adivrekar is in spotlight with his latest exhibition in Singapore. It’s definitely a step ahead for the passionate painter in his artistic journey, striving to carry forward the rich artistic legacy of his father, Gopal Adivrekar. An eminent abstract painter of his times, he took the genre of non-figurative art to a new high with his imagination and innovation.

His father’s achievements and recognition have been a constant source of inspiration, albeit bringing with it an added sense of responsibility, for Ratnadeep Adivrekar. Interestingly, he initially wished to do ‘something different’, and opted to join the science faculty. However, the shift was short-lived, as the love of art running deep in his veins prompted him to turn to painting again. Reliving the transition, Ratnadeep has reminisced: "One fine day I realized I want to be a painter.” He revealed this to his father who simply remarked: “(Just) go ahead, and do what you (would) like to do." He has been of great help to me in building my career as a painter,” the proud son mentions of his father - also his guide, mentor and teacher.

Art lovers obviously have high expectations from him. And he hasn’t let them down, gradually creating an identity for himself. He did his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1997. His ‘Memoirs of The Unreal City’ won him the ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ award at the Harmony show in 2003. The panel of judges, which comprised eminent personalities like Dr. Sarayu Doshi, Harsh Goenka, Dilip De, Vickram Sethi, Tina Ambani and Mala Singh, lauded him as an artist ‘with a distinctly unique style that captures the viewer's attention.’

He won the Bendre Hussain Scholarship in 2002 and received the Maharashtra State Art Award in the same year apart from securing National Scholarship by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2001). Among other awards won by him are The Governors Prize, The Bombay Art Society (1999), and Merit Certificate at The Bombay Art Society exhibitions (1994, 96).

Among his selected shows are ‘Refraction of ideas’, Artists Centre, Mumbai (2004); a solo at Crimson Art Gallery, Bangalore (2002); ‘Souvenirs from Journeys Within', Kala Academy, Panaji (2000); a show at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1999), and ‘Memoirs of the Unreal City and Findings through Journeys', Y.B. Chavan Art Gallery, Mumbai (1998). His group exhibitions include ‘Future and Present’, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai (2005); ‘Indian contemporary art’, Chelsea Art College, U.K. (2005); ‘Ardhanareshwar’, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai (2005). He has participated in Golden Jubilee Exhibition of Jehangir gallery (2002); 44th National Art Exhibition, (LKA), Ahmedabad (2001); 43rd National Art Exhibition, LKA, Bangalore (2001) and the 'Harmony Show' (2000-05).

His process of working is often based on elective creative process. The focal point of his work has been to build his art out of public spheres. His ‘Memoirs of the unreal city’ was about the fast growing and overpowering metropolis. Outlining his artistic motivations, he has noted: “As an artist there is a constant process of re-examination - to dig out the roots for identity. I try to reconstruct sublime personal and historical memories that fade in and out of my work.”

“I am interested in the way a painting can portray the existential human condition by showing an instantaneous chronology comprised of all coexisting events of one's life. I try to unify the painting by composition of several images into a whole that manages to be organized and messy, arbitrary yet peculiarly logical.”

‘Proverbial in(er)vention’, his new exhibition at Singapore’s NUS Museum, is a major milestone in his career. The works revolve around a set of proverbs, as the title suggests. They form interpretative traps for the viewer, and set them thinking. Providing an insight into his oeuvre, independent writer-curator Abhijeet Gondkar mentions in an essay: “His work stems from a kind of visual synthesis, layered with scientific documentation, allegories, mythology, symbolism, documentary footages and history. Leading one to revert to narratival explanations as a way of grasping the status of the art work and its gestures as a socially symbolic act or illustrate a series of overlapping and over determined social constraints, reasons and responsibilities.”

Summing up his processes, Ratnadeep Adivrekar has noted: “I am interested in the associational nature of thinking itself and sometimes a deliberate act of misunderstanding that can become poetry, because you then have to imagine its elements. Systematic-chaos or chaotic-system either works for me. In quest of knowledge I am self contradicting.”