The new-age Dorian Grays
Moving away from regular art sceneries, here's an exhibition in the Capital that gets the limelight back on portraits. Khoj International Artists Association brings Residual, a solo show of portraits by Anpu Varkey. Varkey has chosen to paint portraits of friends - many of whom are themselves artists - she has encountered done during the last three years.
The portrait format in her works is used like a portal into a hyper-real realm of being. Awkward hues of reds, greens and yellow mould the face and torso, displacing the ‘model’ from any recognizable place or culture. These hues are fantasy coded within a literary text or short story; Lovecraft’s putrid green or Ballard’s vermillion skies or the morbidity in Poe’s writing. Within each face languishes the remembrance of another face, posthumously read in fiction or built up by the artist's imagination.
Talking about her methodology, Varkey says: 'The colorised skin-tones condition the works to be less referential to the ‘real’. A rapid addition and subtraction of colour through various sittings creates the form - the residue. Small strokes form gashes in the face that belie no recognizable face. I have disparate interests in painting and portraiture is one of them.'
The portraiture sessions are a series of informal encounters between the artist and model (always a friend). Their finality is arrived at through various permutations of colour combinations, which can be unending or stunted depending on the frequency of the model’s attendance.
Varkey completed her MFA from MSU, Baroda before getting a Diploma in Fine Arts at Central St. Martins Byam Shaw School of Art, London, UK in 2005. The artist was born in August 1980 in Bangalore, India. She lives and works in New Delhi, India.
The rich bold strokes and contemplative expressions seen in the works makes this exhibition a must visit.
WHERE: Khoj Studios, Khirkee Extension
WHEN: On till 27 October, 11 am to 7 pm