Eight artists represent Goa at the Art Explore Gallery (part of India Art Fair Parallel) in New Delhi, which was inaugurated on January 16, 2023, at the show titled ‘Short Stories from Goa’, curated by Ryan Semelhago and co-curated by Samira Sheth.
Viraj Naik draws inspiration from characters from mythology, ancient folk lore, and gossip from the contemporary world. In his signature style, he juxtaposes human and animal figures, drawing the attention of the viewer to flaws in human and animal instincts.
The tongue-in-cheek depictions in semi-abstract portraiture in Shripad Gurav’s colourful narrations take you back to the signification of the colonial history and influences that impacted local society, with incepts of the galo de bacelos (Portuguese rooster) a garrafao (bottle to store feni), stained glass windows and cuisine, with inspiration from Mughal miniatures family scenes, in a vivid palette. Defined textures underline the narrations in reflective scenarios.
Shilpa Nashnolkar’s eye observes anger, sorrow, smiles and psychosis of the adages of society in semi-abstract portraiture. The work dwells into their inner psyche in her characters, gleaned from the society we live in, with detailing underlining the mood in spontaneous gestures.
Norman Tagore rewrites and reshapes reality as he sees it. He takes inspiration from old traditions of the Australian aborigines who believe painting is a magical ritual, and recreates worlds filled with intimacy authenticity, connection and love, leaving the viewer with a trace of familiarity.
Manjunath Naik, on the other hand, has parables full of twists and turns in voluptuous figures in statements on control and hierarchies, like the legend of the phoenix rising from ashes, the creation and destruction, narrated with undertones of his signature erotic humour of truthful expressions.
Darpan Kaur, Antonio E Costa and Suhas Shilkar’s abstract works are a welcome change from semi-abstraction that the majority of contemporary artists are comfortable with. Just look at them and react to it on your own.
Suhas combines ancient Vedic hymns with an intense upsurge of black swirls intercepted with white, echoing the sounds of silence in spontaneity, viscosity and transparency – its capacious ability to remain itself even as it becomes an image, sign, implying an unselective approach in an abstract moiré or wave pattern.
The wild lush susegado spirit in languid strokes in Darpan’s paintings capture the charm of Goa’s ochre tinted sunsets, the swirls of the ocean, flower buds blooming, pink and grey luminosity of the monsoon clouds, as monochromatic mediumistic optical forms, which hold the viewer’s attention.
Antonio extends something more than visual effects, in his ‘Vista’ series attained through his painstaking application of paint in perfect gradiations in shades of green, ochre and cubistic forms in shades of blues.
The artist’s repetition and use monotones in each painting has a distinctive configuration, in tandem with a sense of deliberation of a set vocabulary of forms with different colors. The hypnotic spell they cast on us is addressed to something more crucial than optical effects.
The collection – in large and small formats in oil, acrylic and watercolour – makes these paintings philosophical mediations. “The plots settings and inspirations of the artists are deeply felt stories crossing over borders of imagination that connects us,” states Samira.
The exhibition will continue till January 26, 2023, at Art Explore Gallery, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi. For details, contact + 91 9310410523