What's in a frame?
Graphic designer Aniruddh Mehta discusses abstract expressionism, the subject of his first solo show, for debutant art enthusiasts
At the centre of a gallery, an artist occupies a bench. He is as much a part of a conversation with me as he is with the painting in front of him, which incidentally is his own work. That's Aniruddh Mehta during this interview.
His demeanour — of frequently stealing glances at his abstract expressionist monochromatic pieces — isn't unsurprising. Mehta has been in the industry for nine years. With over 40,000 followers on Instagram, his name is synonymous with a unique geometric graphic design identity. Perfect is his first solo exhibition and that too, in a space that has an identity of its own.
Mehta has 13 works on display
The art gallery, Method, is the latest addition to SoBo's art scene. The gallery was conceptualised by Sahil Arora, about nine months ago. The lights are from the early nineties with custom holders. "We're going to be exhibiting Sajid Wajid Shaikh and photographer Rema Chaudhary next," he reveals, adding that the gallery allows for complete artistic freedom when it comes to the style of works being exhibited or arrangement of pieces. Mehta himself was encouraged to make the wall his canvas. But the framed pieces he has worked on over the last couple of years really does make a statement.
"The name comes from the idea of imperfection and questioning what perfection really is. I work a lot with symmetry, making sure every thing is pencil perfect, at the right angles. With this, I broke those rules and embraced the abstraction that comes when you stop and let things go, even when there are mistakes," Mehta shares.
Calling the exhibition Perfect also opens up a dialogue — especially for those who define abstract art as a black line on white canvas. For the 29-year-old, how the exhibition is received or how well it sells aren't questions he prods himself with. Mehta zooms into the tiny details in each frame while explaining his technique. He highlights how one can analyse arm movements based on the angle of each stroke. "I was on my screen all the time. So, I went to the art store and picked up a bunch of tools. I stumbled upon my technique and found variations. It's essentially by using your entire arm at different speeds to get different results. Each piece would take me about 5-10 minutes," he explains.
Defining the abstract for the art novice, Mehta puts forward a simple analogy. "It's like reading a book versus watching a movie. It's presenting the words to you and you're building a visual narrative in your head."
He also highlights how abstract art reveals a certain kind of vulnerability that people who don't take a liking to abstraction, do not open up to. Mehta takes a walk down memory lane. "I remember being part of a conversation, where someone walks into a modern art museum and sees this 8x8 foot painting of just a circle. And the viewers don't get it and say, 'What's the big deal? I could've done this.' But you didn't. The artist could've done a lot more but [one must ask] what have they gone through in their lives where they stop and say, 'Today, I'm going to paint one big circle'."
ON July 20 to August 11, 11 am to 8 pm
AT Method, Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda.
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