What is Contemporary Art?
Contemporary art is an art which is made by living artists. Contemporary art tends to reflect the complex issues of diversity and the rapidly changing world. It is through their works that contemporary artists attempt to redefine art by exploring the different personal and cultural identities. It is in this process; these artists raise many thought-provoking questions without really providing any easy answers. A work of contemporary art is bound to generate curiosity and open-minded dialogue or debate between those who love and appreciate art.
Often, contemporary art challenges what art should look like. You may find that there is a sculpture in the form of a living tree or a painting made from nothing but fabrics and threads. Contemporary artist experiment with the newer and different ways of working and may even pose questions to the already established artists.
These 5 contemporary artists provide a glimpse into contemporary Indian art today, let’s take a deeper look into their style of work-
Suman Chandra is a young contemporary artist whose major focus is on site-specific works. Coal mines situated in the West Bengal-Jharkhand border are of special interest to him. According to him, there is a continuous shift and change taking place in the different layers within the earth which is caused by humans. It is these man-made impressions which have left behind on this landscape create an ever-changing interplay of positive and negative spaces. Suman prefers to choose space-specific materials and if possible, he uses them as a medium. Suman Chandra has tried to depict this phenomenon by dividing a given space in black and white.
Purvai Rai is a multimedia artist whose works revolve around the stories and memories from her childhood. She works mainly with natural and organic materials such as jute, cotton, and yarn which act as the medium of storytelling; as layers of fibers uncover personal narratives that hoard with the passing of time. She strongly believes that just like a photograph, a piece of fabric also captures the essence of many moments in our lives. For her, we hold these moments close to us either by preserving them in albums or by capturing other sensory memories consciously and subconsciously.
Divya Singh is a visual artist whose paintings focus on themes such as isolation, experience, and memory. Divya has also explored mediums including photography, writings, poetry, cinema and paintings through the two years of her MFA. She is currently working with instant film/polaroid, paintings and text.
Ojha, who was born and raised in Orissa belonging to a family of carpenters. Popularly known as Kulu Ojha, primarily focuses on paper sculptures, he works through layers of paper, cutting and shaping them into delicate and rich landscapes using a surgical knife. It takes a long time to execute and perfect the fine contours of the sculpture. When he starts working on any piece, he doesn’t have a plan or a formed layout but moves from one portion of the relief to another following the rhythms of his mind and fingers.
Hailing from a small village called Garidepally, in the Nalgonda district of Telangana, Anjaneyulu’s work brings a sense of awe among viewers leaving them speechless. His main focus is on objects which were very common in middle-class households in the ’90s. He depicts these mundane real-life objects on canvas making them look surreally real. His favorite subject is still life and the technique he uses is unique.