While art may refer to beautiful landscapes for most, contemporary artist Shahanshah Mittal enriches his art with visuals of dilapidated walls, peeled-off plaster, and placeholder text used in graphic design.
A solo exhibition of his paintings, 'Formless Whispers', will celebrate the formlessness in his works that remain devoid of "heavy concepts and intellectual contexts", and even their creation done without a "lot of thought in mind", a note on the exhibition by Fulbright Scholar and art writer-artist Rahul Kumar said.
For sources and references, Gwalior-born Mittal relies on his education in the applied arts and his short stint with an advertising agency. Relocating to Delhi a few years ago to learn under the tutelage of artist Anwar Khan, he saw his figurative and colourful work shifting to abstraction using a monochromatic palette.
His stay in a one-room rented apartment when he first moved to Delhi led him to observe the room's aged walls.
"The paint of the walls was peeling off and at places explored the base plaster. The balcony had potted flowering-plants. As a result, I had these two things that I most observed. I began to enjoy the very character of the wall at one side, and beauty of the flowers on the other. Every so often, these too find their way in my works although it's all subconscious," he said.
Even the layered paper strips that he uses draw inspiration from the patch-up work on the walls to hide and mend cracks.
On a closer look, one can see the repeated use of triangle form and grids, owing to the manual colour charts he made for work. "The simple dummy text of x's and o's, used as placeholder as a graphic designer, percolate into his works," the note read.
At his studio, his constant companion is classical music, the poetry and lyrics in which intrigue Mittal. "He recreates the words from these songs, although, there is never an intent to make it legible. The 'forms' appear like text but have no meaning; they do not even use a script, as such."
Overall tones and textures of his canvasses appear like weathered and dilapidated walls, and he invites viewers to layer his creation with their own experiences.
'Formless Whispers' will run from March 1 to 10 at Triveni Kala Sangam here. Entry is free.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)