Studio International: Mahesh Baliga – interview

Posted On: Friday, April 22nd, 2022 | by project88pressadmin

Mahesh Baliga – interview: ‘Collected sorrow becomes my work. My work is autobiographical’

As his first solo show outside India takes place at David Zwirner in London, Baliga explains why pain and suffering, both his and that of others, are at the root of all his paintings

Screen Shot 2022-04-26 at 10.11.07 PMPortrait of Mahesh Baliga, 2022. Photo: Manish Mehta. © Mahesh Baliga, courtesy the artist, Project 88, and David Zwirner.

There is a quiet strangeness to the work of Mahesh Baliga (b1982, Karnataka, India), a stillness that hints at both melancholy and hope. He observes the often overlooked corners of life, the details many of us would pass by, such as an ink stain on a friend’s shirt or the fragments of a broken toy. And yet his paintings are not ordinary. There is a touch of magic realism about them, the sense that a veil has been lifted on the quotidian to reveal the emotional reality beneath. Flowers grow from a man’s chest, a boat with a strangely striped canopy drifts on the sea, a tree sprouts leaves of all shapes and sizes. The real and the imagined mingle almost seamlessly, until the viewer is left questioning what is possible.

Colour is key to Baliga’s ability to represent layers of meaning in the most subtle terms. He often chooses bright pastel hues, and in doing so emphasises the beauty of the everyday. “Colour is a vehicle to communicate,” he tells me. “I learn a lot every time I paint.” Baliga’s exhibition, Drawn to Remember, at David Zwirner in London, showcases the artist’s adeptness at walking the line between solemnity and joy, the real and the impossible. It is a show concerned with memory and loss, dignity and longing. Baliga spoke to Studio International about his London exhibition, his first solo show outside India, from his studio in Vadodara (also known as Baroda) in India.



Read the entire interview here: