Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Profile - Asmita Rajiv, The Full Space and more..


A Fearless Living

A creative pursuit is like an overpowering conscience which never lets the mind and heart rest in peace or settle for less, as in the case of artist Asmita Rajiv. Addressing social and gender related issues, urging a gentle philosophy towards living, her works stand unafraid with a distinct polemic, observes Sushma Sabnis.

( Artist Asmita Rajiv)
Asmita Rajiv’s works are primarily figurations, with decorative nuances in them. There is a story unravelling in all the works, either as a backdrop or as a contextual reference or as an illustration of a very poignant issue currently plaguing humankind.

Moving away from a cushy corporate job, this Noida based, self taught artist, works in acrylic on canvas medium and the subjects she addresses are mostly about women protagonists in an urban space. The artist focuses on the everyday lives of women in various strata of society, their struggles and tribulations which demand sacrifices from them and single minded focus on the welfare of their families. 

(The Breadwinner)
The painting ‘Breadwinner’ reflects such complex issues faced by the people who work as domestic help in the society, without whom the world would probably find it difficult to function. In an urban environment, the second and third rungs of executives actually act as  pillars of excellence which hold up and support the higher echelons, preventing the societal structures from crumbling down. One could think of the domestic help population, the drivers, the cooks, the cleaners, assistants, peons and all the ‘classified’ proletarians  who actually form society’s strongest pair of working hands. Asmita’s work, which is always accompanied by a poem, helps to further enunciate artistically the silent struggles of these load bearing arms of society. 

( Nirbhaya)
The work titled, ‘Nirbhaya’ is based on the abhorable rape incident in Delhi. Without dwelling too much on the demeaning impact it had on womenkind and humanity as a whole, Asmita focuses on the innate strength which lies within women. Evoking the indestructible, lying dormant inside every one, she lays down this work of art as a tribute to the rape victim, who in her opinion, invoked the inner Durga in a society, through her life and death. 

( We the Pinocchios)
In her current show titled, ‘We The Living’ Asmita addresses the hurried pace of an urban existence. The artist presents a recent series of paintings which focus on the loss of a certain crucial element in urban lives. The element of ‘living’. The artist believes that most people spend their lives in absolute struggle, with a myopic vision of their lives, dictated by their needs, ambitions and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. The very concept of a homogenised living, being bombarded on to the public  by means of media and such other tools, tends to obliterate the individuality and variety that life itself represents. As a result,  the competition for resources increases to the point of doom. In her painting, ‘We the Pinocchios’ the artist portrays the ugly effects of envy and unhealthy competition which harbours among individuals. The work rendered in acrylic on canvas, portrays faces which have distorted lips, eyes, and disfigured noses depicting their greed, lies and jealousy. 

Asmita, in her works asks the viewer to focus on the ‘bigger picture’ rather than the ‘here and now’. She also questions society as a whole which prods one to self destruct in the name of progress. Asmita’s work urges the viewer to contemplate on their own lives as private and social individuals, so as to invoke a change in the society which follows the sole purpose of a common good. 

‘We The Living’  previews at the Arpana Caur Academy of Fine Arts, on the 16th February 2014 at 4:00 pm. The show continues to be on view till 21st February 2014.


Anatomy of Forking Paths

( Work by Reena Saini Kallat)
Art Houz, Chennai presents a solo show of eminent artist, Reena Saini Kallat. The show titled, ‘Anatomy of Forking Paths’ and will display the unique works of the artist. Reena is a J J School of Art, Mumbai graduate and her art practice spans painting, photography, video, sculpture and installation works, often incorporating multiple mediums in a single work.

A recurrent motif in her works is the rubber stamp, used as an object and an imprint signifying the bureaucratic apparatus which confirms and obscures identities. The show previews on 12th February 2014, 6:00-9:00pm.

The show is on view from 13th February to 23rd February 2014.

Role Model & Power Relations
( Andreas Rost)
Goethe-Institut, Chennai will be contributing a photography exhibition on the theme 'Role Models & Power Relations'. The exhibition is a result of a photography workshop that gives local photographers the opportunity to work on this subject with internationally acclaimed German Artist Else Gabriel and IFA representative for photography Andreas Rost. 
The result of their creative process will be exhibited at Elliot's Beach. To motivate the workshop participants, the institute will have prominent speakers come in and discuss about the topic. Prof. Else Gabriel is one of the most innovative and versatile artists in Germany. She currently teaches at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Wei├čensee, art college in Berlin. She creates art performances as well as video and photo installations.
Andreas Rost is a freelance photographer, curator, lecturer and author in Berlin. As an IFA representative for photography, he has curated exhibitions in Germany and abroad.

The show is on from 11th February to 16th February 2014.

The Full Space
(Work by Kavita Jaiswal)
Art Heritage gallery, New Delhi presents a solo exhibition of paintings, photographs and videos by eminent artist Kavita Jaiswal. Titled, ‘The Full Space’ the show is an attempt at bringing together the painted, the still, the moving and the inverted image. 

The painted canvases comes across with a freshness as light as air, free flowing and un- inhibited. Seen exhibited along with these canvases are videos which capture the flow along with sounds from the universe which create a perfect backdrop for the still image on canvas. An exponent of contemporary Abstract Expressionism, Kavita Jaiswal has been working for over 30 years.

The show previews on 15th February 2014 at 5:30pm and will be on view till 12th March 2014.

( News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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