“My work is more like post-Punk art in Italy of the 60s or even 70s and 80s,” says Amitabh Kumar. It comes as no surprise then, that the underground, ‘no wave’ declamations of post-Punk art ring true in a chat with Kumar, the multi-faceted artist, who is bracing himself to showcase the last prophecy from his Talab series as part of the Diesel+Art initiative.
“Talab means addiction / quest / desire / search...a part of the ongoing Projectile Prophecies’ series,” shares Kumar. As if his murals on the walls of Mumbai from his Message to Zero exhibition weren’t enough, the idea of a last prophecy surely gets us inquisitive. “Prophesaurs are a secret society or cult.” Breaking in, we asked about his discovery of the cult, “I managed to chance upon it, accidentally. You’d have to come to the show to know more than that,”
Tracing back the gestation of the last prophecy, Kumar conveys, “In 2010, I was working on Panadaroid, which is one of the prophecies that eventually led to the germination of this idea. As a lot of my work is referential, it took me four years to develop it.” He admits that the LED lights that he showcased last year at the India Art Fair is a part of these series. Hankering after the idea of prophecy, he relates, “There is a prophesaur of anxiety, there is one of history -- who tells how the present when it turns into past will be perceived by the future -- or how 10 years from now we’ll be remembered.”
These echoed as an artist’s anxiety of his power to foretell and control his image for posterity, he encourages all to peep in to look at his murals that he has been working on for the past five days and feels that the “interface of corporate fashion world and art (the Diesel store)” will help in attracting a new kind of viewership. We felt like chasing our own tail, when Kumar interjects, “I like to maintain inexplicability to what I’m achieving.” So, from comics to animal imagery to spotting “weird morph of mechanical objects that are anyway an abstract form” as Kumar expresses, step in tomorrow night to witness Kumar’s twirly murals that he likens to “ODI and test matches” as opposed to ink on paper.
Till September 3, 11 am to 10 pm; today 7 pm onwards
At The Diesel Store, Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (W).