It takes some innovative thinking to interpret modern technology in an artistic manner, and artist Jaideep Mehrotra seems to have done that quite effortlessly in his latest show, Metonymical Subtext that will be on display at Tao Art Gallery from December 1-15. Rated as one of India's finest contemporary artists, Jaideep talks to CS about his upcoming exhibition and the Indian art scene:
Who: Jaideep Mehrotra
What: Talking about Indian art
Where: At his residence in Worli
The basic premise of my exhibition is about how advanced human life has become now. Today, we live in a complex world with technology at each step. Whether it's a mobile phone or Internet, everything is governed by binary codes. You can say that we live in a world of make-believe. My paintings also attempt to focus on this phenomenon. You might interpret them differently if you see some of the paintings first up close and then from a distance. Most of the paintings have acrylic, oil and inscribed overlay mixed media canvas.
I think that Indian artists are as talented as the ones in the West. But we need to find our own identity. I believe that every artist has a sense of abandon, but he needs to be committed to it. Every art work done by him needs to have his essence.
While I did study commerce and got a degree in business administration, I have been actively involved in art since childhood. However, I got into it full-time in 1984, and have seen the art scene in India change drastically. In those days, people used to buy only calendars or prints. There were hardly any art collectors.
But today, people like buying Indian art. We are slowly getting into a stage when people truly understand Indian art. In the 1980s, there was an artist called Bikash Bhattacharjee, who was greatly influenced by Salvador Dali. Though you could see Dali's influence, his works also had strong Indian leanings. You can say that I was greatly inspired by him.
As a contemporary artist, I like visiting places like New York or Paris, which have nice galleries dedicated to modern art. In New York City, you have the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art that showcases some cutting edge works. The art district of the city, Chelsea is also a great place to view art. The difference I see in their works and those of Indian artists is the finishing and professionalism shown by them. The art scene is a lot more vibrant out there.