Brevity is the soul of wit, they say. Brevity is also the hallmark of Ravi Joshi's frames, eleven in all, which were on show at Gallery OED basement, presented by The Loft, Mumbai. Communication can be in loud clear tones, one liners, packed with meanings or even with a meaningful look. So can art be. Ravi Joshi, a designer/artist, based at Ahmedabad, employs the latter techniques to drive home his point. It's amazing how much pastels can convey, in a minimalistic manner. Brevity in tones, lines and maybe mass, but there are layers of meanings.
If you spend enough time before one work, chances are that you will see it in different ways and the paintings grow on you. The show was titled, ‘Landshapes, a gestalt of paint and action'.
Look at the paintings in acrylic without any pre-conceived notions. There are busts and busts and bodies too. At first they seem just blobs of paint, haphazardly stretched over the canvas. On closer examination from a distance, faces, shoulders and figures emerge, Somewhere thin lips take form, a nose and then eureka, you see a hug, a kiss and maybe a little more. Joshi lets you into his paintings by stages and there is no fixed route to reach out to what he wants to say. Bordering on the abstract, yet figurative to a great extent, some of them sure are erotic, if you put two and two together, even if he did not intend to, which is very remote. There are possibilities galore for one work to convey more emotions than are explicit.
The designer in Joshi meets the artist in him in most works, for they are designed to make the viewer use his imaginativeness to the fullest. For Joshi, in his late twenties, is also a fashion designer from NIFT and also a teacher, besides taking a keen interest in fashion photography. Deeply interested in reviving dying traditional arts related to textiles and also rural knowhow in this sector, he is an ardent proponent of khadi too, promoting its use in current fashion and apparel. This was his second solo.