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September 11, 2015

Quirky Canvases

Text by Huzan Tata

Explore the origins of diversity with Raghava KK, who uses cartoons and Internet memes to create unconventional artworks

Sometimes, a single painting tells a story. And sometimes, it tells more than one. Exploring this idea, multidisciplinary artist Raghava KK presents his next show, Ridiculous Copycats, where complex panels of art form narratives similar to those of graphic novels. “The works in this show each have independent relevance, but together produce a meta-narrative of creation, evolution and the emergence of a dominant species,” says the artist.

The paintings also trace themes of individual identity, relationships and diversification. The canvases — which include cartoons, caricatures and memes — are quirky and colourful, and invite the viewer to ponder about their meanings.

“Having been a cartoonist, I am able to approach the most serious topics with a sense of humour and whimsy. I think comic pathos is very powerful because it forces you think on a different level about serious subjects,” Raghava KK explains.

Though his love for the traditional brush and canvas is strong, the artist, who shuttles between New York and India, considers himself extremely unconventional as well, absorbing all his learning from new mediums of art.

“My motivation is not to be an artist in the art world, but to apply the artist’s way of seeing the world to everything, and to build knowledge systems artistically,” says the former cartoonist about his artistic incentives.

Ridiculous Copycats is on display at Art Musings, Mumbai until September 20, 2015.

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