Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Deceptive glamour - Review by Martha Jakimowicz for Deccan Herald 22 September, 2008

Deceptive glamour

Akshay Rajpurkar, a young artists from Mumbai, after his residency at the Bangalore Artists Centre, displayed the work done there at 1, Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery (September 15 to 17). Titled Visually Arresting/Harassing, it was an installation around a number of largish canvases. The paintings base on and enhance the form and content of street advertising imagery. The seductiveness of commercial messages has been absorbed with all its brightness, the smooth allure of domestic objects on sale and a host of delighted young people — boys at a games console, a swimmer and pretty girls or a couple with ice-cream. The artist over-stresses the aggressive, electronically generated glamour and the tight crowding of pictures and spaces, while the broad smiles turn artificial. The whole then becomes quite tense and oppressive.

If one could sympathise with Rajpurkar’s stand and his ability to evoke a merger of real grace and aspirations with dreamy fantasy, the fact that he relies a lot on familiar ways with pixellated forms made the idiom fairly predictable within the painter's consummate hold on his technique.

An effective element of the exhibition was the ironic background in the form of an installation on the floor using stencilled commercial slogans whose promise of instant bliss was undermined by their evident, self-inherent hypocrisy.

The two short videos translated a similar material from urban street-life, posters, billboards and TV advertising onto a jerkily dynamic blur of dizzy visual simultaneity that denied the existence of a boundary in how we perceive reality and its glamourised images.

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