Rahul Inamdar: Moments in Silk and More

Sunetra Senior Thursday 15th February 2024 02:35 EST

Rahul is a self-taught abstract artist whose remarkable mercurial spatters make an ethereal yet existential mark. He has worked with both large and small canvases through a variety of materials. But his recent series, Moments in Silk, has been especially noteworthy. From prestigious art fairs in London to select galleries in Delhi and Paris, the meditative artist has exhibited his singular works across the globe. Starting out in the very different profession of marketing and innovation, Rahul found his true calling in the individually paced world of contemporary art. “Since 2013, I have been a dedicated painter,” he shared with us: “Initially, my medium was oil on canvas as the colour tones that oil delivers are extremely poetic. I had just quit my job. My first set of strong marks were the impasto pieces with thick and heavy layers made with spatula and a lot of force. Over time, I realised I wanted to paint purely for the immediate joy of it. I began to use the canvas as a means through which I could clear my mind and be still: the empty space reflecting an inner state.” Indeed, Rahul’s emotional journey predicates the evolution of his professional work into the more spiritual: learning to coolly embrace immediacy led him to be able to strikingly connect to the very nature of existence itself; particularly, its boundlessness.


 Indeed, many of the works from his recent sequence, Moments in Silk, seem to the viewer as blueprints of the infinite natural world. One piece may appear to the viewer as a rocky, pocked surface of a planet or celestial body while another looks as if it could be a delicate orifice found on the human form. Another piece (pictured) conjures the distinctively tough but graceful exterior of an elephant. “I seek to answer the hints of the sublime through my work – that inexplicable feeling of being in touch with something greater that really, for me, defines art. When you observe silently, time expands and reality appears in great clarity.” Here, Rahul’s highly authentic process-based approach seals the meaning of his reflective ethos. In effect, he removes every manufactured imposition within his personal remit to ensure that the application of the paint is truly fluid and wholly organic so that the barrier between him as an individual and the wider flow of life is consummately collapsed, and there is profound relinquishing of control. In short, he invites oneness with the universe. “I have never tried to make a social statement but rather immerse myself completely in the work to have a serendipitous experience. The medium should not obstruct one’s action but rather allow one to purely express. When I first began painting, I used cotton canvases with a thick weave. The colours bleeding onto them would inadvertently display the pattern of the weave. This disrupted the experience of light and space, which is what I was after – to communicate the essence of life. To get rid of this overbearing structure, I moved to much tighter and smoother linen canvas. The colours, were no more impasto. I started using rolling pin to nudge around watery pigments floating in a delicate oil film.” Covid, specifically, pushed Rahul into a realisation about the complete lack of power one has over life. “Covid hit me hard. I could not work pretending that I was still in control. I wanted to reflect the reality. I had find a surface that allowed me to reduce my interference and paradoxically arrive at a state absolute freedom. A surface that could absorb colours, would be one step closer.” Rahul conclusively upgraded his canvases to silk:

“Tighter weave, sensitive colours – and almost no control.” As opposed to being the painter in the traditional sense then, Rahul occupies the role of a facilitator, allowing the oils to interact freely with the surface to let the world, in effect, graphically identify itself: “The moment the colour touches the fabric, it just streams. It is so beautiful to see the stain expand, see it flow, slowly – throbbing, pulsating - reminiscent of the music of Max Richter.” Rahul’s devout choice of colours also enhances his unique practice: “All the work I do with colours happens in the background and am very attuned to evocative tonality. The colour needs to become light. Just to give an example, the blue colour in the tubes is nowhere close to the blue shows up in the sky. The sky blue is constituted of millions of molecules where the light is being refracted through and is not a solid object that can be encapsulated within a paste! The artist must realise, and translate this multidimensionality of each element. How we formulate impressions of the majesty of nature can open our minds – an amalgamation of physics, chemistry and chance can be an interesting exploration.” Finally, not only does Rahul present to us experiential, sensory silken statements but also, movingly, the fundamental fabric of life, of which we are an incidental but no less instrumental part.


 W: https://www.rahulinamdar.com/

I: @inamdar.rahul

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