Paresh Maity ventures into new territories in his paintings and sculptures, which go on show at Art Chennai next week.

The second edition of Art Chennai is an attempt to bring together art enthusiasts, collectors, painters and artists on one common platform. The weeklong fixture promises a line up of some of the best modern and contemporary artists.

As a part of ART CHENNAI, renowned and acclaimed artist Paresh Maity will hold a solo exhibition at Gallery Sumukha from March 15-31, 2012. Displaying a collection of his paintings along with some of his most popular and well known sculptures, the exhibition promises to showcase a variety of Maity's best works.

Large and striking

“The style I've used for this collection is mainly similar to my previous work; oil on canvas paintings with strong, vibrant colours,” says Maity. Bold strokes and bold colours are Maity's trademark, and almost all his work is large and striking.

But the centrepiece of this exhibition is bound to be the gigantic life-size sculpture of a flying horse. Eight feet wide and seven feet long, this horse is made of fibre and entitled “The Flying Dream”. “I'd first done this piece for another exhibition, The Roopkatha at Delhi's India Habitat Centre. The word Roopkatha means not so much a fantasy as a fairy tale, and this horse symbolised dreams, dreams of human relationships. Along with that, I was also influenced by Greek Mythology, where a flying horse symbolised victory. And then of course, there is the famous Trojan horse.”

Maity has covered this particular sculpture with beautiful, colourful images. Every part of the horse represents a different dream, a different emotion. “There is happiness, love, loss, journey and, of course, intimacy. But intimacy is a private emotion for many people, not always so obvious. It's hidden. And on this horse too, it's painted at the bottom of the body,” he explains. The horse stands on a pedestal, and a mirror on top of the pedestal reflects the paintings on the underbelly of the horse, making it possible to see the beautifully expressed images of intimacy.

“This horse has been doing the rounds.” Maity says, “First, it was displayed at the Roopkatha exhibition. Then, it moved to a mall in Saket, Delhi, where it was on display for two months. Now, after Gallery Sumukha, it'll move to the ART CHENNAI venue.”

Like the horse, some of Maity's sculptures are extremely popular and well known, like the motorcycle ants and ‘The Golden Journey', both of which have been displayed at national and international art fairs and exhibitions. “They are among the few pieces of mine that I don't give away or sell, and keep with me instead.”

Slight deviation

While the sculptures have been displayed previously, all the paintings at this particular exhibition are new, and this time, a part of the collection also deviates from Maity's usual style. “This time, there are a lot of faces in some of my paintings. That collection I've titled ‘Faces of Life', and all of them contain larger than life faces. I've concentrated on making the expressions on these faces come alive. After all, faces and eyes are the most important part of the human body. They express what we feel.”

While Maity explains that he always tries to make sure that his art isn't too abstract, and can be easily understood by any viewer, the act of putting realistically drawn human faces in his paintings is a relatively new thing for him. “My entire collection at this exhibition has a common thread. While it's not an overt one, it's still there, and all my paintings and sculptures are linked.”

This is Maity's second show in Chennai. “The city is so receptive to art. It has a very rich and vibrant culture, and last time, the response to my exhibition had been heartwarming. I'm so glad to be back here. This time, I really want to connect with the people of Chennai during the fair.”

Maity will be in Chennai for four days, and hopes to meet people, observe their reaction to his art and interact with them.

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