Sunday, August 2, 2009

Go-About: Sandeep Mukherjee

Profundities! And the conundrum of communication, the visceral meanings in language - communication without words, spirituality of color. Hello, this is Sandeep Mukherjee.
Today I had the pleasure and privilege to visit his studio.

It is a vicarious and invasive thing, this studio visit business.

The artist may as well take their clothes off and let us all examine every little crevice and probe and ask a gazillion questions about every tiny bit that is exposed.

Needless to say, if you are an artist and you do not want the conversation to move to your discovered materials, do not have a studio visit. The curiosity and the unbelievability in results will glean an influx of inquiry, so be prepared.

Personally, I enjoy being amazed at what is done and respect the discoveries that make a thing unique. I do however, love looking at peoples' stuff.

Anyway, back to nakedness.
Sandeep's early work included many self-portraits of his nude body modeled after photographs of himself created in the studio, which he shared with us:

After making this self-portrait work throughout graduate school and later in early exhibited work, a moment came to him at one point.
It was a "click" moment, when making an installation piece for a space that had a black floor and white walls. The piece resembled a landscape, in that he created a sort of mountain in which color faded from dark to light and in the black reflection of the floor, went back again to the piece on the wall creating a diamond.

Within the space, his signature figurative pieces were floating -- and then it was done.

At this moment, he no longer needed to include the body - his body - in his work. It was no longer important, that story had been told, out of his system over and over and over again, until it was gone. And no longer necessary.

Now there is something that let go of the self and became involved with the feelings and response of the viewer.
This is where his drive is, the connectedness, the visions that others see, the feelings they (You and I)may have when engaging with his work.
What interests me is the Mind and what it goes through to create a thing for us to look at.

In this way, Sandeep explains that process does not exist without content. And his content is elusive. It is saying nothing to you so that you can make your own language. He is not a "hand holder" but he does hold your hand. Because he cares how you Feel about his work. He wants you to feel an emotional response.

Sandeep is a self-proclaimed painter. "Painting is Queen" he said with a hand on his chest where the heart is. He loves his work, and if it is not fun anymore, he moves on to explore ways of creating that bring the joy back.

Controlled serendipity is one way to describe his process. There is intent and control in the way that he applies color and creates shapes, yet within the relationship of the materials and their inherent fluidity there is a level of pure nature.

Moments that pass in the painting process that creates a little "thank you" for the materials expressing themselves that way, little drop of green. Seriously, it is a relationship with the paint. I hate to use the word "happy accident" - because it is more like a "thanks for being you" and together we can make something beautiful for all to enjoy.

It is nurturing and humanitarian. It is shared and it is individualistic.
It is painting.

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