Delhi-based artist duo – ManilRohit’s latest exhibition titled ‘Appetite for Revolution’ is on display at Art District XIII, located at Lado Sarai. ManilRohit is a collaborative brother-artist-duo of Manil Gupta and Rohit Gupta. They were raised in Lucknow and moved to Delhi in 1998. The brothers started their collaborative work in 2011.
Their works have been experiments in various media like, paintings, photography, sculpture, installation, design, including converting their own car into the popular Public Art Car project called ‘The Holographic Love Machine’. They create complex and crazy paintings to bring multiple styles and subjects.
The use of glow and metallic colors with shaped canvases or shaped plywood boards make their paintings colourful, comic and humours. With the underlying theme of carnival or circus, their latest works are graphic and employ visually dense comic narrative. In their new works, they are also experimenting with contextual shapes for canvases, hand-cut into plywood and other materials. Their coming together as a duo happened as a freak incident one fine day. “While we both were drunk one evening, we decided to paint our studio wall. Manil pushed Rohit to do some scribbles on the wall, on which Manil further added his bit. What came out together for us was magic, and that was when we decided there was something special in store. However, before that, we both spent a lot of time at the studio together,” they explained.
“Our work essentially dabbles into issues of life and existentialism as a whole, albeit looked at through the goggles of humour, fun and satire. We strongly believe that what we are as individuals must reflect in our art. It’s like living our art. Thus, what we create must be closer to us as issues and ideas that affect our lives. We don’t go about looking at our work as a project, formally pick and choose our subjects and ideas which might be trending or that make our work look strong. We go about what matters to us, comprehensively,” said the artists.
Manil and Rohit added, “We feel strongly about man’s relationship with nature, its surroundings, the ideas of the matrix, illusion, the ideas of power, control, the system and our engagement with it. Having said that, we look at our work as a piece of expression which must stimulate its audience, and this is where we create a medley of these ideas, presented with a powerful palette of colours, also keeping in mind that we want to create hope and not despair through our work. We certainly don’t believe that one piece of canvas can change the world, but we believe that one piece of canvas can definitely stimulate the audience for a moment of introspect, irony or pleasure, and that is what we strive for.”