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Artist Profile3
A spotlight on upcoming and talented Indian artists
Primarily known for his sculpting skills, George Martin P.J. has painted several beautiful canvasses that dig deep into the solved and unsolved mysteries of life. His densely populated paintings resonate with the transitory and disunited true nature of our world. They enact the enigmatic drama of contemporary life. His luridly colored sculptures and canvases are dotted with scenes from dense urban spaces – ubiquitous yet unfamiliar to us, at times.

Working with a wide range of materials, he looks to build serene and vivacious visual harmony. The images or forms - quotidian in nature – construe each work that represents the complexities of urban life. The artist ably captures the outer layers of urban spaces, which reflect the postmodern sense of reality. These postmodern architectural structures dispel the sense of unity from a closer distance though they show transparency and a feeling of progress, scientific achievement etc from a considerable distance. The enigma of the human drama begins where the sense of reality is displaced or destabilized from its own immediate surroundings. If, his works throb with the same sensibility, both as acceptance and critique, yearning of the soul to discover solitude and peace amidst all the chaos of tumultuous life is the core of Neeraj Goswami’s practice.

The restless practitioner reveals, “I believe truth lies in the moment…” Explaining how he perceives the bonds or boundaries that exist between humans among themselves and nature, he say, “It (friction) leads to repulsion and ultimately to destruction, whereas fusion can lead oneself to higher stages of attraction (at the level of consciousness). Human form is an inevitable extension of nature. All the forms in it animate -inanimate including human form are the structures of nature, if we trace the origin of it, then we realize they are made of atoms and cells with different configurations. One can sense nature functioning within and beyond through meditations.”

The idea on his part is to establish an artistic connection between the real and the perceived. According to him, when one reaches a certain state of mind within, one realizes the eternal essence of being going beyond the mundane. For him as an artist, the challenge is to create, explore and understand the geometry of the human body. He does so by breaking the forms as we tend to see outwardly and then simplifying the structure so as to make it look aesthetically more defined than the actuality. Explaining this particular facet of his art, he has stated: “I am building my very own iconography by trying to weld silence and music, triangles, planes, sharp angles and curves merge with mysterious depths and fluid shadow-lines that balance out.” The resultant spontaneous images, though largely composed of cubism-inspired peculiar geometrical shapes, don’t give an impression of being disjointed. An inherent sense of wholeness marks them, not least owing to the precision of his composition as well as the sensitive color range he unveils.

On the other hand, a keen student of history and equally acute observer of the present realities, Jagannath Mohapatra depicts themes that are contemporary in context. His visual realm is invariably linked to the immediate milieu. He is known for his intense visual narrations, based on his experiences and perceptions of sensitive issues that disturb him as an artist and as an individual. Providing an insight into his works, senior artist K. G. Subramanyan has mentioned: “He belongs to the generation of young painters who ground their visuals on the unreality of the realistic image that they encounter in billboards and hoardings, in trade journals and television commercials, or at least, a transformed, jazzed up, over-stated reality, now cloyingly romantic, now tantalizingly intriguing.

“Some of them doctor these images with arresting juxtapositions or incongruous insets and envelope them with a covering of cynicism or a critical comment. Jagannath Mohapatra is one of them. However, his paintings neither have a cynical tone nor have any open critical content. His paintings are mostly soaked in the dissembling juiciness of this second-line reality.” The sensitive artist tells his tales through his paintings, and leaves it to the viewers to mull over them for drawing their own conclusions, whereas the visuals that Rahul Chowdhury encounters in his dream-world sometimes get superimposed on the real world or vice-versa! The resultant conflict remains at the core of his intriguing artistic process. He explains, “In the dream world, there are no inhibitions whereas one is driven by logic and rules in the real world where the self is controlled and one’s desires are suppressed. The resultant disenchantment and chaos grip the two worlds. Their overlapping causes friction.”

He delves into human psyche, invariably caught in a state of flux, swinging between reality and illusion, trapped between outer and inner world, and alternating between materialistic and spiritual leanings. It’s an endless conflict between the real and the dreamy realm that cuts deep into one’s psyche. Even though he remains curious about socio-political events around, he has become more receptive and sensitive to emotional and spiritual content of life. He states: “I look to explore the inner recesses of human mind rather than understanding the materialistic world. It’s a perennial search that has just begun…”