Saturday, September 7, 2013
All The World's A Stage
Alpana Vij is an Indian artist and has been based in Singapore since 2004. She has shown her work at various solo and group shows in Singapore. The first time I met her was at an art jam held at a gallery and the work was all to be sold in a silent auction for a cause. I was drawn to her work, as she had this quiet and collected way of working that was intriguing. Soon after I started following her work and I liked these up close and personal portraits that she has presented in her current exhibition, “All The World’s A Stage” happening now at the John Erdos Gallery till the 20th of September. I asked her a little about her collection and this is what Alpana shared with me. “Are we just actors playing a role on the stage of life? Who are we beneath the masks we wear? Painting for me is the search for significance and truth that lies veiled beneath the surface. The search for a place where the true self exists… has always existed. In these large format expressive portraits, through an interplay, of strong light and shadow and a limited palette, I strive to remove all that is extraneous and focus essentially on bringing out the intrinsic character of the subject. And something tells me, that by seeking the true nature of the subjects I paint, I will, in the process, find my own.” While this connection to the primordial feeling of searching the self within the work of art seems to be something we see in so many artists, I specially connected to how she finds a primitive side to her subjects which almost makes them timeless. Yes, primitive and raw with their thick lips and she emphasizes the same with the earthy tones that she has presented them on canvas. She tells me, “These portraits are an attempt at exploring the true nature of the subjects. Through an interplay of strong light and shadow and a limited palette, I strive to remove all that is extraneous and focus essentially on bringing out the intrinsic character of the subject.” She has hugely succeeded in her attempt to do so as the opening night saw a lot of red dots on the wall. This is an artist one must keep their eye on as her sense of style also is alluring thanks to her past of having worked in advertising and design. This graduate from College of Art, New Delhi has now however decided to concentrate on being a full time artist and works extensively at her studio. Catch her exhibition on now at the John Erdos at Dempsey.