A unique virtual exhibition by Baroda-based artist Jignasha Ojha features works that use elements from the miniature painting tradition, infused with the modern visual of stiletto heels. Exhibited in the April edition of The Art Platform, Ojha’s works are presented by Gallery White. Titled ‘Second Skin’, the virtual exhibition features interesting paintings that have the motif of high heels as a central figure. The Art Platform (TAP) India is a platform for galleries, artists and art lovers to continue to engage in conversations around modern and contemporary art.
“My work is inspired by Indian miniature paintings. In my works I have juxtaposed popular images and Indian figurines and miniature styles. It’s like making a movie and writing a story that has examples of past and present merging. Characters from the past create a dramatic element in my work and often convey a message. Sometimes they ask a question about our current society and its problems,” Ojha told IANSlife.
Human figures rendered in the typical “style” of miniature painting become patterns of sorts. While reminding you of a bygone era, also read as agents of tradition and rigidity, their gesture and mannerisms almost resemble those of Gana figures from reliefs in ancient Indian traditions of relief and sculpture. These characters evoke a range of behaviors from appreciation to debasement and from empathy to cruelty, writes Satyajit Dave.
Presenting them as stimulators or provocateurs in a scene with a single large stylus increases the overall emotive capacity of the image. First we see the stilettos, we observe the various designs and patterns, then the viewer’s gaze moves over the work from one figure to another, the acts of spear-pricking, offering appreciation by relentless applause, taking refuge, offering care and kindness, are some of the many gestures on display, he adds.
“The centrality of the composition compels the viewer to look beyond the obvious, to begin to reflect their experiences, and to form a camaraderie with the metaphor of the stilettos. For the artist, the stilettos testify to the image of the female. It is through this that the intentions of almost all miniature male figures become clear.”
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