Incursion Artistique en V.O.
La Jehangir gallery est la plus ancienne de Bombay. Elle est ronde, majestueuse et grouillante. Elle fait aussi office de musée gratos pour les touristes. les plus grands artistes indiens ont exposé leurs toiles sur ses murs ou bu des chai « readymade » au café samovar. Je vais des que je peux dans ce haut lieu de la vie artistique bombayote, et pas seulement pour boire des coups au samovar.
La semaine dernière j’y ai découvert les photos de Sanjay Yamgar. Évidemment, à l’heure où j’écris cet article elles n’y sont plus (les expos changent tous les 15 jours) mais comme tout jeune artiste qui se respecte il est très présent sur internet et après avoir lu les quelques lignes qui suivent rédigées en V.O. j’espère que vous aurez envie de suivre son actualité et de cliquer sur les liens.
“Whereon he thought of himself in balance and he knew he was”. The moody blues, a question of balance.
Listening to Sanjay Yamgar you get a glimpse at what everything is all about: a quest for balance. Our world is extreme, extremely wealthy- extremely poor, extremely dry- extremely flooded, extremely big, extremely small. We, as humans, constantly navigate between poles in search of balance, Sanjay as an artist challenges the extremes to create his personal balance. He tries all the media, all the formats in a way that he can never be tagged.
His earlier works are incredibly dense, bright, chaotic, he describes them as hippy, colourful paintings. You can stare at them for hours and still discover a tiny figure emerged from our common imagery, blinking its eye at you. Now he is about to show a new series of minimalist, almost monochromatic paintings. Going from one extreme to the other to avoid saturation and to re-balance. But even there, Sanjay, couldn’t put his creative mind at ease and had to challenge his technique by painting mini 2 x3 cm and maxi formats 4 x 5 ft.
While he was working he got struck by the nauseating smell coming through his window in a busy, modern, shopping area. Following the smell he found himself in a huge garbage dump talking to these migrated, poor people who work at keeping our city clean and recycling excusive waste into cheap toys. Extremes again.
As we see animal forms when we look up at the clouds, Sanjay was seeing faces looking down at the garbage. He got his camera, and shot them at sight. He only needs half the face to get the big picture, but for us, he doubles his vision using symmetry and we find ourselves trapped and observed by dozens of very scary and disturbing faces from the unknown world. There is no composition; they are just the reflection of the reality of our society.
Looking at the result of this new artistic endeavour, we are at first surprised and we wonder if we’re looking at African masks or grinning monkeys, then an upsetting feeling gets hold of us when we suddenly realise we are staring at ripped jute bags or compressed plastic bottles.
Don’t look for a political message or an angry protest. If you really believe in the cliché that all work pieces are created to send a message, you will maybe find an environmental one. Sanjay is concerned about the environment as everybody should be, and this is his way, as an artist, of showing his concern.
Standing there, surrounded by theses faces looking straight at us from the abysses of the city s garbage dump the only thought that comes to mind is “if we don’t do anything, they re gonna eat us alive”
While we are deep in our thoughts, Sanjay is already a step ahead. What will we find in his quest for balance path? Sculpture? One thing is sure, Sanjay will master the technique of whatever media he chooses to explore. He calls himself an old school artist believing that artists should create and work hard to transform reality. And when asked about being an Indian artist in the booming contemporary Indian art, his answer is straight forward and crystal clear: Art should not be temporary nor Indian, it should be permanent and global. In deed a well balanced artist.
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