'My paintings are my truth'
Ahead of his first solo exhibition, Aditiya Singh on his process, and finding his first admirer in actor-father Kanwaljit Singh
For seven years, Aditiya Singh has been painting every night, putting down his palette only at the crack of dawn. But ask the 25-year-old about a formal training in art and the memories he shares aren't the most pleasant.
"In school, I was never interested in painting because my art professor wasn't too fond me. It was only in college while pursuing a bachelor's degree in mass media that I realised I wanted painting to be more than a hobby. I left BMM and enrolled for a degree in the fine arts. But my process is different from the set procedure of starting with a rough sketch and then firming it up. I start seeing my figures and forms on the canvas. But this wasn't academically allowed. So, despite the training, you can call me a self-taught artist," reveals Singh.
This free-spirited streak can be seen in Singh's works with his brushstrokes and the choice of not limiting himself to one medium that lends them a dream-like quality. After exhibiting his works in group shows at venues including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and International Art Festival, Jaipur, Singh is ready to show his first solo exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery. But this sense of freedom on his canvas is something he attributes to his parents, actors Kanwaljit Singh and Anooradha Patel. "They have given me all the freedom to pursue what I like as long as I give it my all. And my paintings are my truth," says Singh, who is the late veteran actor Ashok Kumar Gangoly's great grandson.
From not wanting to paint in school to being at the easel for five hours daily is a distance Singh covered with the support of his father. "He is an art lover and our home is full of paintings. He would take me to art galleries and exhibitions regularly. One day, I had scribbled something on a piece of paper, and my father asked me, 'Where did you buy this from?' That truly meant something," he recalls.
(From left) Kanwaljit Singh, Ashok Kumar Gangoly, Sidharth Singh, Anooradha Patel and Aditiya Singh in a file photo
With little creative gratification at art school, Singh decided to make up for it by travelling. "I had made some money from my first exhibition, so I went on an art trip to Europe. I cried the moment I stepped into the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and when I saw Picasso's original works for the first time," shares Singh, who counts FN Souza as inspiration.
How would he describe the paintings that have made the cut for the upcoming solo show? "Through my art, I want to express what words cannot. My canvas is all I want to say," says Singh. "And hopefully, it will have a conversation with the viewer."
From October 16 to 20, 11 am to 7 pm
At Jehangir Art Gallery, MG Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
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