A Canon of colours had exploded in the room where we were standing. The nearest and the farthest points were connected by sunny colours, exaggerated iconography and striking illustrations extending a playful spin on the mundane.
The background was a juxtaposing neutral of greys, pastels, browns and nudes supporting the vivacity of the art in the forefront. It was a marriage between interior design and popular art that brought with it a burst of design inspiration.
On one end is Nivasa furniture and design brand, and on the other, Artinsic, an art consultancy. They’ve come together to form a nucleus containing multi-dimensional imaginative elements and we decided to ‘pop in’ to see.
The group exhibtion is called POP! Goes The Easel that envelopes within its fold, the horizon of popular art in present times. Ten Indian artists explore the extent of this life mirroring form. Ahmedabad-based portrait artist Alpesh Dave has mounted portraits of celebrities and icons created by integrating thread and acrylic on canvas.
Vernika Singh from New Delhi has fashioned sculptural balloons. Singapore-based Sukeshi Sondhi’s work The Hashtags (2019) has a series of tongue-in-cheek humanoid creatures that studies the influence of consumerism and the advent of social media on the female identity.
“Thorugh each of their work, we shed light on this underrated genre in the Indian art market. In fact, bringing together a good number of artworks was my biggest challenge which shows that pop art’s scope hasn’t still be explored much,” says Shreya Chadha Chug, Founder of Artinsic.
A few artists she had previously represented such as Suchit Sahni, Sanuj Birla, Vernika Singh and Alpesh Dave fit the bill for the display perfectly. Some of the other artists known to her were keen to experiment with the genre. Yet others like Sukeshi Sondhi, were found on Instagram.
One cannot miss the optimism in Suchit Sahni’s work that offers an abstraction of cityscapes and popular icons in her signature dark colours and geometric style. Sanuj Birla’s atypicality is seen in the way he paints on real money inspired by the cartoon character Richie Rich. Sahaya Sharma’s art is abstract-surrealist in its display of emotions, layers and textures.
As we sauntered around the space, we saw Chug shifting things from their original place to a new one.
“I’ve noticed that my clients have a huge apprehension about how and where to place pop art because of its intense colours and strong imagery. That’s why I was keen on holding this exhibition in a space where I could show them practically how it can be positioned. At Nivasa, we have explored several different ways.”
Pop art movement began in the mid-1950s in Britain and late 1950s in America. By 1960s, its magnetism reached far and wide. Young artists started to break free from pedantic art curriculums to turn to advertisements, cinema, music, comic and others for inspiration.
Till: November 1
At: Nivasa Contemporary, Sultanpur MG Road