Sunday, June 07, 2009
Writeup for and of an artist
(A short writeup-cum-account-cum story that I wrote for my friend Tushar Waghela, an international artist about his latest & striking series 'The Land Series', in which on behalf of the artist I have tried to pen down into words what he has painted)
What is Art to me? Excusing myself from the lingual limitations I found the most appropriate singular word in Igbo: Chi – Personal God. Browsing through my previous, the acute adoration of Chi lands this time in my present series, undoubtedly delivering a sermon that humanity has opted not listen deliberately. The present series is based on my native land: Bastar since it falls on artist to paint what he sees. Everything is sold on a stamp paper, the currency becoming crucial than hearts, thus reminding of an age-old tale of Faust selling his soul to the Devil for diabolical favors. & the outcome – nature taking revenge-global warming, floods, earth quakes, worst – detachment of a farmer from his land where his ancestors found treasures. This series is denotation of a farmer whose isolation in desperation resulting out of his misery while his green land converts into huge masses of metal industrial structures. Nevertheless, here, I have painted the farmer out of bounds of gender & species, for when misery is in question any biological bound is insignificant. By every means I have tried to keep up the aesthetic standards in these paintings, reminding ourselves that ugliness disguises as beauty. Stamp paper on background was essential as in my land it symbolizes authority. With this vicious authority not only farmer is ripped off his land but also nature isn’t spared, ah! The lotus still blossoms yet the despotic fingers made the grounds unavailable.
Within & without, I must say that this series, before wrapping every corner of canvasses, bred inside me, respired with me, ah! What bliss, ah! What an agony.
Today, when we have started to move in the reverse direction, when we immoralists especially are trying with all our might to remove the concept of guilt and the concept of punishment from the world and to purge psychology, history, nature, the social institutions and sanctions of them, we have started an absolute opposite movement, both in ourselves & in the world, materializing even the non-matter into currency notes & coins. Let us again remember the etymology of art: love of wisdom whence reminded from Heraclitus’s doctrines of - tap anta rei – everything floats- who accustomed modern man to the idea of becoming & if everything evolves, then truth cannot remain a frigid fossil.
Yet everything floats but today the direction has become much more relevant, man is already pursuing the idea of becoming but what – creator, keeper or destroyer?
In an attempt to escape from this rampant aestheticism & recapture the binary illusion/truth, art is what now sustains the metaphysical condition which has become viable only by means of art: this being the only non-illusory condition & the idea in art rests in its ability to create new forms, newer idea thereby signaling the possibility of non-existent. But what claims to base its foundation solely on grounds of objective truth? What else the biggest deception of them all: Greed.
My vocation is to try & make art accessible because I believe that this is the way of coming in touch with the well spring of your own being, where God is…all experience of art becoming experience of God, an unconscious exercise in metaphysics.
Truth is a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed & embellished poetically & rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical & obligatory to us.
I have tried to paint this truth.
Finishing, the world around us is changing, for good? ; will always be answered by the generations to come while we will be unavailable to witness that answer; the race against time for money & worldly desires will in end take us back from where we started while I am sure that nature will take it’s own course.
The land series of mine was a simple deliverance of this message.