Haren Vakil - Long on Logic

02 December 2010 to 15 December 2010

Venue: Hacienda Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

Hours: 10 AM-6 PM

About this exhibition

There is an order in chaos and what seems to lack reason contains logic of its own. This describes Haren Vakil’s paintings and drawings. One is so used to conventional reflexes when it comes to seeing, hearing and reasoning that everyday absurdities seem reasonable. For instance, how would one explain the actions of some Mumbaikars who regularly cross the railway tracks at a risk to their life instead of using the footbridge? There’s an absurd need to save time rather than one’s life.
Vakil does set out to hold a mirror to any particular instances of incongruity or life itself. He’s an artist-artist. Unlike his young contemporaries, for him the act of painting is not a political action. He makes art for the pleasure of its process and the unplanned result. This passion started in childhood when his extensive doodling was encouraged by his parents and a good artist-teacher. It would be appropriate to say that he paints, and life spontaneously seeps into his imagery. The compositions encompass concrete structures, birds and animals of his whimsical imagination and hybrid people with oval faces and animal legs. While the scenes are not realistic they are inspired by his everyday activities, East and West cultures, his favourite music Jazz and much more.

The elements from various strands of life come together in an orderly fashion in his noticeably structured compositions. The lines, the colours, the balance of elements suggest how Vakil manages with ease the madness of events and a crowd of things. His visual language has been shaped by his years in architectural planning and draftsmanship that have binding rules and restrictions unlike art practices. Also, one is reminded of surrealists Rene Magritte’s handling of objects and human figures, and Giorgio de Chirico’s treatment of city structures. The Surrealist influences are just one of the aspects informing Vakil’s works. He employs wit and humour in the treatment of his subject. One sees an affiliation between Vakil’s imagery and American Native Art especially in the way he makes facial features and postures. Much of his surreal imagery obliquely owes to Indian pop culture, calendar art and street life even though he has been living in Canada for more than 35 years. One sees a balance of restraint and freedom. And for these reasons it is inappropriate to categorise his work to any genre or region.

Vakil’s works have a buzzing presence. The diverse details in his works are akin to our lives which come together cohesively with their own absurd logic.

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Works on display


Fish Out of Water
Haren Vakil


Blue Halo
Haren Vakil
N/A


Beauty & the Bird
Haren Vakil
N/A


Untitled
Haren Vakil
N/A


Relaxing
Haren Vakil
N/A


Untitled
Haren Vakil
N/A


Magic Vase
Haren Vakil
N/A


Untitled
Haren Vakil
N/A


Guess What
Haren Vakil
N/A


Inside Out
Haren Vakil
N/A


Eyes Have It
Haren Vakil


Jumble
Haren Vakil
N/A


Duo
Haren Vakil
N/A


Secret Court
Haren Vakil


Out of Limbs
Haren Vakil


Long on Logic
Haren Vakil


Aristocrats
Haren Vakil
N/A


Riders
Haren Vakil
N/A


Duet
Haren Vakil
N/A


Opening Act
Haren Vakil
N/A


Day Dreamers
Haren Vakil
N/A


Untitled
Haren Vakil
N/A


Straight Ahead
Haren Vakil


Touch of Mosaic
Haren Vakil


Magritte in Mexico
Haren Vakil
N/A


In Search of Magritte
Haren Vakil


Countenance III
Haren Vakil
N/A


Countenance II
Haren Vakil
N/A


Countenance I
Haren Vakil
N/A


Birdland
Haren Vakil


Eve and the Holy Cow
Haren Vakil
N/A


Ambiguous Alcoves
Haren Vakil


Barcelona
Haren Vakil
N/A


Promenade
Haren Vakil
N/A