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Framed
December 16, 2014

Secret Strokes

Text by Huzan Tata

Decipher the meaning behind C K Rajan’s paintings that have elements of black humour

In his latest show, artist C K Rajan, best known for his politically-charged collages, presents a series of 81 small paintings. Many of the artworks in the exhibition, titled Classified: For Your Eyes Only, have elements of black humour. They are mixes of abstract art and the figurative, both sketchy but legible as something: a figure, a structure, or a word. In this way, the artist sets up the possibility of a narrative but simultaneously negates it, leaving the viewer to speculate. Scenes that the Hyderabad-based Rajan has painted have a cinematic nature to them – highways at night, aerial views of landscapes, and, as the title of the show suggests, a narrative of subterfuge.

4 Questions with the artist, C K Rajan

  1. Artistic motivations “There is no reason or object in particular. Rather it is the way one thinks and feels in the course of living.”
  2. Inspirations “It is difficult to point out only one person. Many artists inspire me in various ways.”
  3. Concerns that find a place in your art “The fact that today human beings are socially pushed further into a narrow alley, where they have to function as mechanised auto-machines.”
  4. If you weren’t an artist you would be…“Anything.”

Classified: For Your Eyes Only is on display at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2, Sunny House, 16/18, Mereweather Road, Colaba) until February 26, 2015.

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