Quiescence in ordinary things is Mahesh Baliga’s artistic idiom. His vision is oblique, catching the emblems of daily life that tell a larger story of the fragility that accompanies the lifestream of the world.
The time has come for Baliga, who was born in Karnataka but lives in Vadodara, to make his international debut at the exclusive David Zwirner Gallery in London with a solo exhibition titled Drawn to Remember.
It is a big deal for this soft-spoken artist – the gallery, whose headquarters is in New York and also has branches in London, Paris and Hong Kong, represents the who’s who of the global art world like Yayoi Kusama, Donald Judd and Carol Bove.
Drawn to Remember, Baliga’s new collection of paintings, is more than an ode to memory. It is a portmanteau of images rendered in luminous pastels. Baliga feels that “colour is a vehicle to communicate” – 40 casein tempera works, exhibited for the first time at the gallery’s Upper Room.
His style borrows from the delicacy of miniature paintings to Impressionist imagery. The London exhibition forms a melange of everyday’s unheeded pastiches and takes a detour into the magician’s twisted world.
There is enchantment beneath the banality, expressed through different slides of a powerful artistic imagination whose mischief bewilders the viewer.