INDIAN STILL LIFE - DUTCH STYLE
Dutch Stilleven or Dutch Still Life is a huge focus area in my art. I am drawn to its emphasis on ordinary human life and its highly realistic treatment of subjects. In my opinion, Dutch Still Life is not merely a celebration of man's material possessions, but a deeper inquiry into the nature of man's pursuit of objects. Similar to Dutch Still Life from the Golden Age, my Indian Still Life is a gateway to understanding the underlying meanings and symbolism of our age.
In my Indian Still Life, I retain many key features that define Dutch Stilleven: My still life paintings are carefully orchestrated settings that symbolize the Indian identity. The compositions and lighting are designed to highlight the interplay of light and shade - helping bring alive the warmth and shine in the different textures and materials on display. The precise application of paint and relatively invisible transitions between brushstrokes is designed to eliminate the evidence of my hand and achieve a very close illusion of realism. The aim is to, in classic Dutch style, create sill life paintings that express not just an aesthetic but also a philosophy that is Indian at its core.
This PITARA series of photo-realistic oil paintings speakes a language that is Dutch and still life, yet expresses ideas that are purely Indian. Speaking the hidden language of human artifacts, these paintings tells the tale of an India lived across multiple timelines. An India where tradition is an alive agent in contemporary culture - defining the way we live, our customs, our festivals, our food and celebrations.
The objects depicted in each of these paintings are traditional, yet an integral part of contemporary Indian life. For, the ingrained cultural meanings they hold for every Indian define what it is to be 'Indian' - today as it was in ancient times. The ubiquity of the Indian brass lamp, of the lemon-chili nazar boncuk and of masala tea in any Indian city is evidence that tradition is a guiding force in the contemporary way of life in India.
My Pitara series is my Indian treasure trove that holds the capacity to preserve these otherwise commonplace objects and to immortalize an aesthetic and a way of life.