Art That Provokes

Posted by Rana Ashish Singh
April 14, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

So you think you can tell the meaning of some expensive masterpiece or you can feel the feel, when there is not much to tell. Have you heard of art, where the whole deal is about the process through which art was made, weathered in extreme cases for ten to fifteen years? How do you react to an art that mostly speaks of everyday failures or reaching a step short of where you should have reached and even when it sings and celebrates success, it is a tale of a tough journey, an honored success with enough bruises to tell of the toil it took to get there? What if I tell you there is work of an artist, which would make you question everything you have ever known about art. It would make you feel just a small tool in the grand social order, make you feel like needing to go again through school. Would you avoid that art that raises more questions than answers and sublimely through the pretence of abstract art sneaks in a question about your life? Sukant Khurana’s upcoming work is not pleasant, it is evocative, it is disturbing, it is a reflection of our times – a mirror. It would make you question if the mirror is twisted or if there is a straight mirror to a twisted reality. It is complete anti-thesis to Bollywood – an anti-escape. The fake smiles in his paintings would come and haunt you. His labyrinths would reflect the lost in your life. Just as Rothko’s serene works evoke deep meditation, shockingly some of the prisons of Sukant evoke same meditation as do destructive creation works, created by repeatedly washing his canvas after painting time and again to the point even the canvas is torn. His willingness to break all rules of even superficially rule-free modern art, dip into classical technique of perspective, some prehistoric deep metaphor, some realism, with abstract expressionism in either foreground or background, attacking painting with bleach, acid, fire, knife stabs, weathering – sometimes telling a story or rather hitting you with it or sometimes skirting around the story of your life by not saying anything explicitly but reminding you of different facets of your everyday experiences becomes too much to have no reaction to it. These works bring out the inner you. I am not sure of the science behind it but I even suspect there is some because the artist behind these works is also a famous neuroscientist, a mathematician, and a data scientist. If in this age of information overdose, you think your senses have seen all they could have experienced then you are going to be in for a rude surprise of poverty of your experiences. If you are willing to see a naked autobiography of a person who has witnessed more than most can imagine and done more in science and arts more than is possible in a lifetime and feel an irreligious spirituality only otherwise possible when you are alone in wild then you are in for a complex treat. It would be leaving you with months and years to ruminate over what you would witness and worse still there is a crew of movie makers, which is present to record people’s response to this process. The movie team intends to record the response of everyone interested in making their views known. The exhibition is appropriately called “From Creative Destruction to Destructive Creation” and the movie “What’s the fuss about Sukant Khurana’s art?” and it is being held at

Café de Art, G-14, Marina Arcade, Connaught Place, Outer Circle. New Delhi 110001.

The exhibition is from 20th to 30th of April 2017 and the movie recording from 20th to the 24th. Be there after knowing the danger that it would likely force you to think and confront a part of your own identity.

(Ashish Singh is a Senior Researcher at Institute of Governance, Policies, and Politics, New Delhi, National Secretary of Azad Shakti Seva Sangathan Rae Bareli, a member of Advisory Board of Youth in Social Action Society and Suryavansham Sewa Santhan, Rae Bareli. He can be contacted at-

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