As an artist of Indian diaspora in the US, I have finally stepped out of my comfort zone and begun exploring an uncharted avenue. Embracing fresh ideas by casting aside over-saturated ones is part of my nature, but I had not indulged in it enough in the middle phase of my life in Baroda. Human figuration dominated my visual thinking, hardly allowing any other experimental possibilities. In fact, a couple of years before moving to the US, I fully recognized the stagnancy in my thinking and my creative output, which was devoid of anything fresh and provocative.
The major change involving immigration has made me abandon my allegiance to realism and invent a fresh visual language. It has made way for me to face the more confrontational aspects of life, death, and suffering to forge an inward-looking existential vision—a rather spiritually-inclined position. And this conceptual shift, I think, is responsible for the strategic use of abstraction –or rather the myth of abstraction—in my recent work to speak of human suffering and the malady of the planet. As per my introspection regarding the political climate of several parts of the world, where a specific notion of “home” is being aggressively politicized as an excuse to exclude, even persecute specific others, uncertainty about belonging to an actual place has driven me to forge a conceptual space in my work of the last few years.
In this invented space, “home” itself emerges as an abstraction, a malleable idea, and my deep compassion for human life and spirit in the present political context helped me to shape and reshape while exploring the perils of the physical world around me. It provides infinite room for meditations on humanity.