In dialogue with civilisations

Of life An artist, a printmaker, writer, scientist, entrepreneur and a photographer. Rahul Mitra seems to be adding more to his list with each passing day. Born in Hyderabad and now a sc

Published: 25th January 2012 03:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:21 PM   |  A+A-

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Benzene, one of his art works (Ink on paper)

Of life

An artist, a printmaker, writer, scientist, entrepreneur and a photographer. Rahul Mitra seems to be adding more to his list with each passing day. Born in Hyderabad and now a scientist in Houston, Texas, he already has 53 shows in nine countries to his credit. A graduate from Nizam College and also an IIT-Roorkee product, Mitra's photography show, “Urban Decay” along with six other photographers is on in the city. Known for his art show, “Dialogues From Disparate Worlds”, through which the artist portrayed the social and economic disparity in his homeland, his work has been exhibited by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Lawndale Art Center, The Art League of Houston, the Slovakian Academy of Art, the Academy of Art in Serbia, and in several galleries in India. He says, “It's been twenty years since I left the country and now, when I am back, it's changed so much. I wish I could be part of this evolution.” His stories have been published in literary journals from “Gowanus” in NYC to “Tell Tales” in the UK. He is currently working on a project called, “Ten Years, Ten Countries”.

Dialogues From

Disparate Worlds

Rahul Mitra was instrumental in bringing the first contemporary Indian art exhibition, “Dialogues From Disparate Worlds” to Houston, hosted by G Gallery. Explaining about his work at the exhibition, Rahul Mitra says, “My work is a summation of the growing cultural, economic and environmental disparity in contemporary India. The life portrayed shows my own experiences where issues like poverty and inequality fight for space. I wish to instigate a thought that could lead to a dialogue, to ask and answer the question that the characters in my work ask.”

He adds, “I have an unencumbered approach, which is guided by an inner vision that takes me through the journey where I walk observing, recording, and bringing these glimpses of disparity to life."

Printing life

Rahul Mitra's printmaking portrays images with an evidently clear depth and emotion. He elaborates, “I chose to bring characters to life through my linocut printmaking, as the line and form impart starkness to it. I also implement a lot of block printing, as carving and printing the linocut takes me back to cultural roots of handmade crafts that I imbibed while growing up in India. I make all my prints by hand using handmade paper.” He also says that prints are all about re-creating street life for him. “If you want to know what's the flavour of any country, just walk across one of their streets. Unusual people, unusual situations teach you a lot of things. I want to capture all of it, but without making it offensive for anybody.”  

Ten Years,

Ten Countries

Rahul Mitra has been working on a project called Ten Years Ten Countries, as part of which he along with a group of artists will be traveling to 10 different countries and will try and establish an interaction between the ever-changing civilisations. Mitra says, “We are all working to document all our first-hand experiences about life in different countries. Every year we go to a different country and hold a show there. Through the show we get to interact with the local people, get their side of the story and in turn present all of this, through the medium of art.” As part of this project, a photography exhibition called the “Urban Decay” is being held in Hyderabad which talks about how urbanistaion is destroying nature. “There are two ways of looking at it. One, what the present civilisation is trying to say and two, how is the future scenario responding to it.”

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