Rajesh Baderia's “Transcendence” in the city - A mix of spiritualism and mysticism, Indian philosophy, mythology and nature, the paintings play with colours.

Some eight years ago, artist Rajesh K. Baderia exhibited his works in “I am” gallery in Lajpat Nagar along with a stalwart like Amrut Patel. The Jabalpur-born engineer knew he wasn't among the favourites with connoisseurs and media; the reason was simple – he wasn't known enough. But his meditating Krishna invariably attracted one and all. Today, he is not only invited to countries like the U.S., France and Spain to exhibit his abstract forms, but galleries which initially “humiliated and ignored” him, as he puts it, are now keen to display his works.

Some 50 group and 10 solo shows old, Baderia's new exhibition “Transcendence” is on view at the newly opened Renaissance Museum and Arts. A mix of spiritualism and mysticism, Indian philosophy, mythology and nature, the paintings play with colours. This show has seven chakras, nine planets, five elements and his ever present Krishna in all new shades. What separates his works from many others is the luminous effect. His upbringing in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, contributes immensely to his vibrant creations — with their dancing peacocks in forests lush green during the rains, temples of architectural magnificence, and a mix of rustic and urban life.

Meditative

Baderia's “Krishna” is not playful; he is in a trance, calm and meditative. Even a separation from Radha (symbolised by a flowing white veil) doesn't deter him. “Scriptures say Krishna was a yogi too, though he took birth as a human being. I like to show his spiritual side,” reasons Baderia. His “Rising” depicts a hot red mass like a mini volcano. Bright light emanates from it and seems to pass through the frame to reach the viewer. His “Five Elements” in white, blue, red, green and earth hues gives the impression of melting ice bricks, each shining with a light of its own. A close scrutiny reveals Buddhist tantric elements in shapes of a triangle, circle, rectangle, etc. floating inside them. “Moon Matters” is a matrix of seven ‘melting' chakras and nine planets with divine light as their binding force. These are represented through two simultaneous compositions to complete the thought. Says the 51-year-old artist, “I started painting since the age of five as I was influenced by my mother who used to draw. Engineering came later. My engineering background helped me draw (for example) a line or a circle just perfectly without using any geometrical device. My passion for VIBGYOR too, came from my science background. I never regretted taking engineering as a profession. See, even Leonardo Da Vinci was a civil engineer, then an architect. He joined the army later….”

The show at A-298 New Friends Colony concludes July 31.