Combining their love for art and travel are these Indian artists who create, draw, and frame locations and spaces with unique aesthetic definitions.
Travel beckons cultural fascination. For many of us, it represents the art of being present in a transient world, holding on to things as tightly as possible for as little time as we have. However, the pandemic did make far-away destinations seem almost unreal. From Mumbai’s beaches strewn about with broken bottles to the jingling sound of bangles reverberating through the streets of Old Delhi — there’s nothing that we don’t miss about exploring our beloved cities in India. Here to offer some help are a few Indian artists who package the beauty of India via their unique artworks.
Paul Fernandes’s work doesn’t necessarily warrant aesthetic consumerism. It’s contemporising the art of watercolours that are easy on the eyes and pleasing for the senses. aPaulogy takes us down memory lane to different cities which were once alive with the sound of music, noises, and even rants. And the fact that you can hear these paintings says it all. aPaulogy is a page both quirky and soulful, bringing back nostalgia and triggering reveries.
The Kolkata-based animator and director Bhattacharyya illustrate places and moments that soothes the senses. A graphic page with hints of magic realism, his definition of destinations melts in the eyes, compelling us to reminisce about good times. Whether it’s a portrait of Mumbai monsoon or a landscape frame of an airport, his pictures speak a thousand words and ten thousand memories.
What New York-bound illustrator and visual artist Taarika John best does is narrate stories through her artwork. Her playful yet thoughtful posts on Instagram are a beautiful testimony to it. She usually draws from life, inspired by her life in India, which usually takes us back to the different representations of everyday business at a busy market or even at home. She plays with colours soft and bright, and her artwork always comes out vibrant and shining, adding life to a canvas.
Pratt Institute alumna Baluka Nayak’s work is whimsical and fantastical, almost made for a parallel universe where probably Lewis Caroll would find himself residing. It evokes nostalgia and a sense of simplicity that also reminds us of a location or a place that made us feel comfortable and at home back then. Illustrated upon old bills, vintage papers and postcards, she spews creativity wherever it demands her calling.
A kaleidoscope of vibrant colour pop is how we see artist Param Banana’s Instagram. While focusing on representing LGBT in the most effervescent way, his usual artwork catches the eye, leaving an indelible mark on anyone that comes across it. His quirky and liberal artwork also makes its way into his contemporary fashion style and accessories. His image illustration of the Golden Temple is making us want to dress up in the brightest summer colours and visit the place with our hands folded in gratitude and contrition.
Kannada artist Gurudas Shenoy is another celebrated Indian artist who manipulates colour palettes to visualise different facets of a city. His artwork revisits landscapes and cityscapes using brilliant hues, colours, lines, light and textures, forms. And these city portraits may be abstract but they seep through the cracks of reality in a structured and patterned way.
Neethi’s artwork is good vibes in a grid. In association with different brands, she creates coruscating illustrations of everyday life. These contemporary and domestic vignettes take us back to usual days, without masks, sanitisers, and social distancing. Travelling through Neethi’s artwork is liberal, which is what makes it so perfectly relatable.
Feature image: Courtesy Upamanyu Bhattacharyya; hero image: Courtesy Neethi