Unlike the last decade, this year we find that several Goan artists have been exhibiting their work in other cities of India. And Goan artist, Vitesh Naik, a national award winning artist and the first Goan artist to be awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2020, has a solo exhibition, titled ‘Songs Innocence & Experience’ at the Tejas Art Gallery, Kolkata.
Vitesh is known for his use of indigenous imagery to create a mysterious, yet realistic, world in his art forms. His motivation stems from vignettes of a simple illusionary world and fantastic creatures, in indigenous mysterious yet pragmatic paintings, with complex sensibilities at play.
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
In the collection of 55 paintings, each painting has a distinctive configuration as if it were the frame of a sequence in tandem in an attempt to intentionally capture an instant, and freeze an unrepeatable motion. This unique and sublime moment elapses over a universe of continuous colour in unforeseen and artificial tones, where the shadows and the muted background merge anarchically.
Vitesh’s Cubist imagery hints at paintings by Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985) a Jewish-French artist, book illustrator, ceramicist, stained-glass painter, stage set designer and tapestry maker, who created dream-like figurative and narrative art that explored his Jewish identity and life in Russia, as Vitesh chronicles life in Goa.
THE ARTIST, THE ART
“As an artist, I attempt to capture visually these moments occurring in time. I am fascinated with the movement that is created when I am painting, and all that occurs physically and emotionally, and through this process, I discovered that organic shapes and floral landscapes lend themselves well as expressions of gesture and offer visual metaphors of emotions of my human figuration,” says Vitesh.
As the semi-abstract figuration floats in a drama of self-gratification characteristically depicting human characters of Goa, a charlatan, the alcoholics, jack fruit eater, Goa’s alluring landscape, hills, taverns, churches, aquatic animals and the endless sky, the multi-hued floral prints on the apparels of the people, stand silent witnesses of human story and psyche of the bewildering microcosm of Goa.
This crosses the boundaries of locale and style, and one finds his oeuvre comes forth in a convincing contemporary voice that chronicles humanity in the universal language of fine art.
“Painting is like a mirror of a self-image which enables me to identify myself. My paintings are character oriented and are always crowded with lots of human bodies, forms and figures. The thinking man remains a recurrent motif, ever questioning his drive and choices and the things he chooses to support. Crowds of people, the popular taverns and bars in Goa, a man in the street inspire me. And, my quest is unceasing as I seek myself in the faces milling around me. Many a time, I see myself in my characters,” Vitesh opines.
‘Songs Innocence & Experience’ by Vitesh Naik, will be on exhibit at Tejas Gallery, Ahuja Museum of Art, Kolkata, from Nov 20 – 27