Artist Nityan Unnikrishnan's new show is a comment on current events

Updated: Mar 17, 2019, 07:52 IST | A Correspondent

In Nityan Unnikrishnan's new show, The Way Out, the first impression you get is probably the wrong one

Artist Nityan Unnikrishnan's new show is a comment on current events

In his new show, The Way Out, artist Nityan Unnikrishnan has taken static narratives and given them askew perspectives. In Mirror, a mixed media on paper, an elderly couple is in their bedroom. The man is reading the newspaper; the woman is soaking her feet in a tub, pacifying her corns.

On the wall behind them is a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, next to a painting of one of the scenes from Gujarat riots. Rioter Ashok Mochi, with a headband and an iron rod, is raging against a burning city, as an actual lizard flits between them. In Sunny Afternoon, another mixed media on paper, there's a statue of goddess Durga alongside a lit samadhi in the navel of the sea, while a throng of beach bums navel-gazes.

It's a strange scene, but we live in strange cities, with people, buildings and monuments elbowing each other for space. "From what I sense of cities, they are the same," says Unnikrishnan. "New buildings with the same people doing the same jobs and wanting the same things. It is only the margins that are different, but margins do not matter."

Each of the 15 paintings is a comment on current events, but not directly. It implies a mind filled with unease, a heart filled with despair. But, Unnikrishnan says, "My heart is not restless. It is fine. I apologise if I gave that impression. I can't think of one thing to be upset about, really." But, while looking at his paintings, you're reminded of the several things to be upset about, really.

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