Why Tyeb Mehta's grandson likes violence

JJ School of Art alumnus Ali Akbar Mehta, turns to Shakespeare instead of grandfather, painter Tyeb Mehta, for inspiration for his first solo show in the Mumbai

Ali Akbar Mehta, the 28 year-old grandson of the famous painter Tyeb Mehta, will showcase a collection of paintings and digital works in his first solo show titled Ballad of the War That Never Was and Other Bastardized Myths at the Tao Art Gallery, Worli.

Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 2010

The exhibition will showcase 32 works -- eight oil canvases, eight digital paintings (painted on the computer and printed thereafter on archival paper), four drawings, 12 digital images that have been painted on, and a video installation.

The inspiration behind the collection is the artist's obsession with the idea of violence. "Violence and tragedy in Shakespeare's plays such as Hamlet and King Lear have always fascinated me. Both these elements are a constant in human lives, and that is the inspiration behind my work," says Mehta. 

Mehta says he was always interested in animation. "When I was young, I would experiment with painting software, and graduated to Photoshop. I wanted to get into animation, but after graduating from The JJ School of Arts in 2005, I couldn't stop painting," he says.

Being the grandson of the famous  Modernist painter Tyeb Mehta, who died in 2009, Mehta was always surrounded by art. The environment was so influential, he chose to become an artist. "I lived in Delhi and would visit Mumbai in summers. I remember times when I would sit in grandpa's studio and watch him paint for hours. At times, I would sit in a corner and draw too," he says.

At: Till October 5, Tao Art Gallery, Worli
Call: 24918585

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