Gallery Espace presents Within The Walls

Gallery Espace, Within the Walls, Abir Karmakar

New Delhi: Gallery Espace in cooperation with Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke (Mumbai) presents a solo exhibition of twelve paintings (oil on canvas) titled ‘Within the Walls’ by Abir Karmakar from October 1, 2008 to October 21, 2008 at Gallery Espace, 16 Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi.

Art Exhibition previously on in India.
From Wednesday 01 October 2008 to Tuesday 21 October 2008
Launch Wednesday 01 October 2008, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (IST)

Untitled (Oil on Canvas) image

Published by anonymous on Thursday 25 September 2008.
Contact the publisher.

New Delhi: Gallery Espace in cooperation with Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke (Mumbai) presents a solo exhibition of twelve paintings (oil on canvas) titled ‘Within the Walls’ by Abir Karmakar from October 1, 2008 to October 21, 2008 at Gallery Espace, 16 Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi.

Says Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace: “In the current exhibition, Karmakar’s primary intention is confessional. He lures the viewer into a secluded world where attitudes of homo-erotic desire are performed before our gaze. The domestic space or the lurid hotel room becomes for a brief period of time a stolen habitation. As a gallery, it is indeed a pleasure to bring to the viewer art which can be both provocative and awe-inspiring!”

Born in 1977, Karmakar obtained an MA in Painting (Gold Medal) from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda. A middle-class Siliguri boy who studied painting at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, Abir says, “I was always fascinated with the depiction of ‘realism’ on canvas and its various subversional possibilities. Even as an under-graduate student in Kolkata, I was using my ‘self’ as an image in my paintings.”

The works are unusual, to say the least, dramatic in their presentation and breathtaking in their visuality. Abir portrays his own self as haunting images of androgynous protagonists, placed in various expected and unexpected situations. He explains, “While everyone is talking about virtual reality in electronic terms, I am portraying it actually on the canvas. Frankly, that is the only interest I have. Perhaps I will look at various ways of representing it in my future paintings.”

Abir’s take on the dual existence of male and female in each human being is as old as the concept of Ardhanarishwara. The artist is featured as female on the canvas while being male in real life. He uses cross-dressing as a visual tool to make his point. However, what is interesting is the way he takes it beyond the obvious, drawing in facets of female physical exploitation and various problematic social attitudes to gender issues.

He says, “I work slowly, taking a lot of time to focus on and develop my concept, the layers of ‘sexual confusion’ that I can explore, all of it takes a lot of time.” Locating himself within middle class domestic spaces, he works with tropes of realistic painting, mannerist portraiture and the overt sexuality of tabloid pin-ups. While the (sexual) confessional photograph has gained currency – the deliberated sensuousness of oil painting delivers images of psychological abjection and sensual assertiveness.

To explain his paintings, one can say that they tend to move up and out, from the private to the public domain, assuming a powerful masculine view of cities, building sites, symbols of growth and the urban landscape in transition. The artist-to-subject engagement appears to be grounded in responses to media information, global economy and social discourse.