The violent side of art

Ali Akbar Mehta, grandson of renowned artist Tyeb Mehta, presents works that aspire to understand violence at different levels, in his first solo exhibition titled, Ballad of the war that never was and other bastardized myths

"My works gravitate towards the sublime and the tragic," says Ali Akbar Mehta in an attempt to introduce us to his body of work. The 28-year-old artist, who has exhibited his work in many group exhibitions over the last three years, is inaugurating his first solo exhibition in Mumbai titled, Ballad of the war that never was and other bastardized myths.

Ali Akbar's work titled To Glory in Self, Like some kind of New Monster

Ask him about the complicated title and he replies that the attempt was to explore violence at different levels and the myths surrounding it. "There is not enough said about the tragic," he says. "My works aim to look at our very existence. We are so desensitised towards violence these days. I wanted to look at how we live our lives and how we understand violence," explains Ali Akbar.

He describes his works as symbolic and allegorical. He has been working on this exhibition for the last two to three years and his works include a set of canvas, oil and acrylic paintings along with digital paintings comprising of work that has been painted on the computer and printed on archival paper. The artist has made a video installation as well, which is a compilation of his paintings.

Being the grandson of an artist of the stature of Tyeb Mehta, Ali Akbar admits that his grandfather has been an influence in his life. "The sheer monumentality of his work in terms of the physical and the metaphysical is stimulating," says Ali Akbar. So, was that the reason he took up art as his profession, "Not really, it has naturally been my interest. But my grandfather has definitely inspired me a lot," he admits.

This being his first solo exhibition, Ali Akbar hopes that he gets a good response. "I have two more bodies of work on similar lines prepared for my next two exhibitions," he tells us before signing off.

Till: October 5
At: Tao Art Gallery, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.
Call: 24918585

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