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Pop culture

The influence of colonialism in the post-colonial world, television commercials and the institute of marriage might seem disparate but Kolkata-based artist Anirban Mitra merges all three to explore pop culture in his new exhibition titled Inspecting The Construction. His works are an amalgamation of tribal art, religious imagery and advertisements that appear psychedelic thanks to their bright colours. The 32-year-old artist concedes that the vibrant hues provide sporadic relief to viewers from the cluster of images. His inspiration stemmed from his formative years in Kolkata, that boasts of a huge colonial heritage.


Anirban Mitra’s works are a playful amalgam of tribal art, television adverts and religious imagery

Mitra says, “The works operate on different levels. I have used images of Victoria Memorial and Kali Ghat. During the colonial regime, the British had taken the collection of Kali Ghat paintings by an Indian artist to the Victoria Albert Museum. They later returned it and the paintings are now on display at the Victoria Memorial. This sequence of events signifies the political game played by the British wherein they acquired Indian works and then returned them, as an act of benevolence.”

In another work, he uses images set within the lattice of bamboo construction to explore the concept of marriage. “Bamboo is usually used to build a wedding pandal. I wanted to explore how popular culture and changing times have affected the longevity of arranged and love marriages,” Mitra explains. The artist, who graduated in art from Shantiniketan, took two years to paint the six works that will be on display at the exhibition. “I wanted different genres of art to collide with each other in my works. I have used the themes of contradiction and coalition to question the construction of reality,” he concludes.

When: Nov 9-Dec2
Where: Sakshi Gallery, Synergy Art Foundation Ltd, Tanna House, 11-A, Nathalal Parekh Marg, Colaba
Call: 6724 7605 

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