Before the entire dramaturgy of one’s practice is created and before I start talking about the material, the form and why, who, how and when about my work’s, I would like to talk a little bit about the space that I live in.
Baroda (or Vadodara) , as we all know it, is in the state of Gujrat.
Gujrat, apart from being one of the few dry states in our country, is also a state that has been long known as Modi’s Gujarat. I live in that state and have been a practicing artist here since 2002. And my work is a cumulative account of that existence.
This account has crossed the border between the subjective and the objective and now finds itself in a process of internal aesthetic-al reconstruction where I freestyle with and between themes, forms and objects.
To cognise and make sense of one’s own work, is a very complicated practice, I think. And i don’t think that I am in any position to place my work in any larger context. As a practicing artist I believe that I have to respond and react to the world around me. Respond in a way that follows the syntax of my own internal language. A syntax that holds some degree of coherence to the naked eye of the observer. It is the efficiency of this communication that drives me to create the works that I do.
I have always been fascinated with a certain creative simplicity that is exteremely elementry in its nature. This fascination found itself being realised in objects such as children’s toys and playthings. Thing’s like action figure’s, guns, jigsaw puzzle, mobile/kinetic sculptures (like the remote controlled car’s or hot wheel’s) seemed like this zone where reality was elevated almost to this loud, sarcastic, maniacal super- reality. And it is in this zone of the “super real” where I found my interpretation of reality fit most comfortably. These were the tools that I used to , in some sense’s, write an account of the time and space that I lived in.Write an account of Baroda. My Baroda.
But a city, as we all know, is more than its geography and physicality. A city is a more a vessel that contains within it many lives and many idea’s and movement’s that dictate’s those lives. The mundane hot afternoon’s that are spent in a tea stall are driven by idea’s. So are the night’s of stealth when we hide a bottle of Old Monk and run from the state. These are all situations that play’s itself out as part of many meta-idea’s.And it is this larger perspective, this mine field of idea’s that interest’s me. It is the guiding light which directs my work and the material that the work is created in.The medium itself comes within a visual repertoire, besides what’s been represented using the medium and this opens up the canvas of material’s for me. I use a variety of materials that will help me realize the work . Like plastic bags, foam sheets, fire-crackers, card-board, bronze, iron, copper, fiber, clay, plaster of paris etc.
As far as an attempt to cognise one’s own work is concerned,I think it is slightly futile because that eat’s away time and energy from reflecting on the reality around me.An attempt to scrutinize my own may prove as desultory as the following:
(This is an attempt to understand ‘Fat Man , Big Gun’)
‘The much used post war imageries caught my attention and established an anxiety in my thought process. While looking at the works of Peter Saul, this anxiety turned into a scheme where I started thinking of imageries with a slight sense of sarcasm. The problamatics of the post war imageries surrounding the fear factor, or the uncertainty factor, I believe, has the potential to evoke surreal imageries.’
But isn’t the piece much more than that? Or is this the about all that it has to way. If my works had one simplistic idea, or thought, concern,or concept I would much rather write it in the aforementioned simple format than create an object. My very practice as an artist gives me the license to let the everyday, the unnoticed, the accidental be part of my work. It is in the everyday that I find my work most strongly rooted in. It is a creative response to this sense of ordinariness. In fact, it is by referring to the mundane that my works attempt to place it in a different context.
This is what I believe every creative persons strives for. To react (in whatever way) to a certain notion of reality around him.
My idea’s and my form together attempt to reconstruct a reality where even a piece of cardboard in the pedestal has a conversation with the viewer.