Lives and Works: Mumbai
Rajesh earned his BFA and MFA with the distinction and honor of fellowship from the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai in 2005 and 2007 respectively. Since graduating from art school, his works have been displayed at Luxe Art Museum gallery (Singapore), Kunst Zeug Haus Museum (Switzerland), Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke (Mumbai), Singapore Art Fair, Jehangir art (Mumbai) and at Bodhi Art Gallery (Mumbai), among many other group shows. Rajesh’s inimitable panache for experimentation and his command over the craft of painting has earned him a solid reputation and a range of awards. He is recipient of honor of Artist In-Residence Programme invited by honorable President of India, Lalibai Dharmdas Bhambani Scholarship awarded to young artists, the Bombay Art Society, Maharashtra State Award, the Shri Bhim B Purohit Memorial Bombay Art Society Award, the National Scholarship (visual arts) given by the Indian Ministry of Culture, the Bendre Foundation Award, and the Indo-Swiss Student Award from the Consulate General of Switzerland. He lives and works in Mumbai, India.
He is interested in the tension between reality and representation of existence. He feels inclined to talk about the relationship between obsessions and detailed observance. The works that he does are project based which uses a process of reconstruction and fusion to examine the chaos of the regular city life. He likes to experiment with different media like painting, photography, sculpture and video. A choice of media for particular idea is the important part in the process of his work. He thinks about the control and releasing point, static and moment. His research area is specific everyday moments in which the consumer world repeats itself. The idea of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of space; in a way tries to reduce the complication of visualizing his work. He wants these works lend visibility to such minutiae that often tend to get overlooked in the course of grandiose representations and this traumatic mark to be sensual, perfected, mechanical, a controlled gesture.
In October 2015, he had solo exhibition titled 'Nebula' in Jehangir art gallery, Mumbai and March 2015, showed solo titled 'First Citizen of India' at Upper Logia, Ashoka hall, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India. He traveled to Singapore in 2013 with his solo, 'Common Space', an exhibition in which he takes on the grit and grime of claustrophobic city life. In Rajesh’s dynamic canvas, the mundane achieves a meditative edge. For instance, a series of photographs shot in the banal non-places within a college campus document how the subconscious charts its own narrative using objects that surround it. In yet another series, and one that proves yet again Rajesh’s daring stroke of brilliance, he has used his 16 X 10 ft room (kholi) in Lalbaug, which he shares with his parents, as a canvas-in-progress to depict how chaos and control are not two sides of a coin – in the crammed urban world that Rajesh’s canvas depicts chaos and control are varying dialects of a language called contemporary Indian art. In year 2011, displayed his works in show titled Morning at the Window, where Rajesh Kargutkar’s large sand-colored paintings, series title Between The Input and The Output (2010. Gesso and Acrylic on Canvas), emphasizes a very basic and undeniable physical trait of the city: the cityscape. Through a series of extruding textural blocks on the canvas, the artist has created a bird’s-eye map of an ambiguous city. One must interpret Kargutkar’s meticulous and precise layering of acrylic on acrylic as the layering of space – a buildup of both history and physical presence. In any large city, buildings begin to expand, not outwards, but upwards; a trait that Kargutkar has expanded on with inexplicable beauty and grace. His work glosses over the more detailed and sometimes unpleasant elements that one finds in the city to show only the essential cramming and layering of space in the urban environment in Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke Mumbai. In 2010 he showed his work in public gallery Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, titled Construction, series of painting acrylic on canvas works talks about the existence of being in his metropolitan city, where everyone is living on a very temporary certainty of being constructed into a luxurious and better way of living. In a way, he is questioning to his own contemporary social, political, economical, etc. scenario but the imagery of his works, in a sarcastic way, are much more symmetric which upto an extent takes the viewer to read behind the context. There are many words like hope, construction, etc. takes the viewer to the final extract as well as the meaning of the work of art. In 2009 he invited for three months residency programme at rapperlswill- Jona, Switzerland work and lives there by Futur foundation. He has his first solo show ‘Intransitive Process’at Kunst (zeug) haus, Switzerland; showed the paintings and videos which executed during the three months residency program in Switzerland, works focused on the duality, culture and day to day life of two countries with the help of common objects like windows, basing, chair, daily use words as a text on canvas.
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