With his new collection, Mughal Garden, Vijit Pillai aims to bring back mughal art in the most abstract way yet
While most artists today thrive on a signature style, Vijit Pillai believes in reinventing his style in a way that is not easily recognizable. “I don’t want people to see my painting and ask ‘Is this Vijit Pillai?’. Instead I want them to notice the painting for it self and ask whose work it is,” he says, speaking to us at Ginger Lily, Radisson Blu where he has just unveiled his latest collection, ‘Mughal Garden’. Each piece in the collection is a juxtaposition of photographs, blended together to create something that is vastly different from the original images. While the figure of the Buddha was the primary focus of his previous show, ‘Blu Nirvana’ ‘Mughal Garden’ takes inspiration from mughal miniature paintings and architecture.
‘Blu Nirvana’, as the name suggests was dominated by shades of blue with bursts of green, brown and yellow. The new collection in turn leans more to the warmer side of the colour spectrum; it revels in flaming reds, fuchsia, orange and even some neon hues.
“How this collection came about is interesting,” Vijit begins, “I was exhibiting Blu for Buddha in Bangalore and a Kashmiri gentleman came up to me and said he loved my paintings but didn’t particularly relate to the theme and asked me to try my hand at something closer to his culture. That’s when the idea of mughal art came to me.”
Vijit sees the collection as a revival of the art form itself. “Today we see mughal miniatures only in museums so this is also an attempt to bring the art form back into the mainstream.” Another way the new series differs is the use of paint; until now Vijit has stuck to using just new media but the addition of a different layer adds a necessary texture, an element that was missing from the earlier digital prints.
The works were indeed inspired by mughal miniatures but each painting was in contrast, larger than life; Vijit has not been apologetic about using large canvases and bold colours. Experimenting with form is something he believes keeps an artist creatively satisfied, and more importantly, in the market.
While the quality of work should sell itself, the gaps are filled in by marketing. “Facebook itself has been a big help in my case,” says Vijit, whose former experience in advertising has given him a good grasp of the market in Hyderabad. “The most efficient way to build a brand in Hyderabad is to become known in places outside of it, that is when people start taking notice of you.” concludes the artist who is set to display his work in Bangalore, Delhi and Bombay in the coming months. The exhibition at Radisson Blu is open till July 30.