Sunday, March 6, 2011

‘Everyday India’ on a Collage : India Art Summit - 2011

The exhibits at the India Art Summit left me gasping for some more understanding, till I stopped at Ketana Patel’s exhibit. I had found my connection! She was witty, very ‘everyday India’, and just what my young heart and mind craved for, a vibrancy and a way to understand my country through art. Her pop art in mixed media in a collage of photographs was used so well on her exhibits. The use of reds, yellows and orange gave her work a prominence even from a distance. Her use of ‘India’ was excellently exemplified through some of her works like in the case of the ‘Nano’ that was exhibited outside the hall, and accompanied by the punchline, ‘Stop, Indians Ahead’. The use of bright ceramic blocks in the interior as well as exterior of the car seemed like a take on the distinctive Indiandecorative sense. Satire seemed to underline her documentation of the everyday in India. Pictures of trucks, taxis, cycles and rickshaws all piled up, interesting details like the car numbers that have cultural coding, the bi-lingual write ups on vehicles, distance in kilometers were all juxtaposed in a play and riot of bright Indiancolours. A particulary interesting exhibit of a woman labourer caught my attention. Ketana had captured the smile on her face, made up by a bright red coloured lipstick in sharp contrast to her real life persona. The intention seemed to be to play with excesses in a hyperbolic sense and capture the unbelievable in everyday IndiaKetana’s intentions were clarified through her collage, and she seemed to enjoy her artistic capturing of life in India.

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