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Artist Profile3
Solving the myth of life through art
Jai Zharotia believes imagination is one of god's greatest gifts to humans. This belief prompts him to create some intriguing pieces of art. The prolific artist loves to tell stories through them. He draws upon various fascinating aspects of nature and everyday life around - living or non living.

The artist tries to fathom various shades of emotions, conjuring up extremely evocative and communicative images that we are familiar with, conceiving a realm that harbors a parallel reality in his works.

Born in New Delhi in 1945, he received his professional training in Fine Arts from the Delhi College of Art. He worked in Bal Bhawan on educational projects for children, before serving as a lecturer at his alma mater. The artist has received several awards in his career, including Sahitya Kala Parishad Awards (1979), Silk Screen Prints (1980), AIFACS award for Ceramics and Drawing (1987), and Lalit Kala Akademi National Award for painting (1993).

‘Life is a myth, and there are so many questions inside you that you can't express in words.., Jai Zharotia has once stated. In fact, he never wanted to paint only the comprehensible. Instead, as an artist, he always wanted to discover and explore the world existing beyond the realms of logic.

Explaining how he looks to solve or unravel this myth through his work, the artist explains: “Whenever you try to solve the myth you become a part of myth so you cannot solve it that way. In this quest of solving (a myth), I create another one.” The chain elongates and stretches itself endlessly.

Jai Zharotia’s work is also said to have its root in his personal life, and the role of fate and circumstances in it. He believes to have come across some greater forces at work that have led him to make many life-changing decisions he wouldn't have made otherwise. Is then his work more autobiographical in nature or it’s actually that he tackles broader metaphysical issues through it?

According to him, it rather it stems from his inner experiences. He adds. “It’s flight of my imagination which often wanders in metaphysical world and goes beyond it too. It reflects the subconscious nature of ‘self’.”

In many of his past works the idea of duality in the iconography invariably finds a place. There are twin images; a male head and a feminine face in many of them. Explaining the sense of duality in his work, Jai Zharotia states, “This duality is in appearance, but in actual sense it is a unity or oneness akin to two images combined by the space around which bind them together.”

Though an apparent structural divide exists in his works, they do not lack in dynamic energy. The artist ensures that they undergo a constant reconstruction and reinterpretation within themselves as well as within viewers’ minds.

According to him, art, to be known as art; to be respected (and perceived) as art- must be deeply rooted in tradition. It’s not only about painting feelings for one’s own consumption, but also about making a universal statement, employing visually enchanting mediums, he mentions.

He avers: “When I start my work I am an observer. But as soon as I get involved in it I become part of it. The technique of expression is important in art practice, and so also the sensitivity towards forms, figures and feelings.”

In Jai Zharotia’s creative process, content or composition always stand back to back and constantly redefine, change and challenge each other. Regarding the choice of his medium, the artist says that each medium has its own challenge. He adds, “It all depends on the first stroke or touch or the moment once I start creating the work. My palette choice is always governed by the work which invisibly forces you to create a color scheme.”

He likes to innovate, experiment and evolve visual vocabulary of his own. Sharing the joys and challenges of this process, he says, “Understand this as a circular-trap; the moment I enter into it. I’m faced with a challenge. I solve it with my best visual ability and move further and am faced with another challenge. Every time I try to find an innovative way to solve it. Eventually it becomes an enchanting visual process and translates into a never-ending visual vocabulary,” he concludes.