The contemporary Indian art scene is a curious mix of well-established artists with global recognition, emerging young talent, pioneering thoughts & design steeped in tradition. galleryIntell interviewed one of the founders of the Mumbai Gallery Weekend, Usha Mirchandani on this richly rendered artwork by a young Kerala-based artist Ratheesh T. References to the mythological character of Naag-Devta (The Snake God) in this large-scale work infuse power into the painting and enchant the viewers. As one tries to understand the message in the artwork, it is immediately clear that the artist is speaking about larger issues at hand. A common thread runs through the works of the artist – that of an urge for awareness and responsibility, while simultaneously lending a mystical charm through the imagery.
Usha Mirchandani: I’m the owner of Galerie Mirchandani + Steinreucke and the painting you see behind me is by Ratheesh T., a 30-year-old painter from Kerala, who is probably the most exciting painter on the scene today.
I feel very strongly about it. If you look at it, at first you think it’s a typical picture – the imagery is from there, the Nag Devta in the background, the deep forests of Kerala, but his concerns go far, far deeper. He’s concerned about the state of the world and the environment.
I think when you stand in front of the picture, the power and the force of it should just compel you to respond and I think this picture does that.
The definition of Art has changed so much and broadened to the point that almost everything is Art, but I still feel very strongly about works that continue to resonate, and I feel this work does that.
Interview © galleryIntell. Images courtesy of Tao Art Gallery. Artwork ©Ratheesh T.