Theatre of the bizarre
For Farhad Hussain, sex is the stage on which the theatre of life is conducted. His caricatural figures, often wearing a sinister grin (blissfully benumbed by hedonist excesses) indulge in a variety of bizarre acts, sometimes bordering on the perverse, sometimes the absurd. His solo show of paintings and sculptures is currently on at the Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi.
Hussain, who has been trained in art both at Santiniketan and Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Vadodara, says. “I see sexual politics, crisis and complexes everywhere in the society and this is what you see in my work.” Whether it is a naked man standing next to a fountain alongside a pig covering his genitals a la Adam, or a bathroom where two women, a man and a dog are in what looks like (no prizes for guessing) the prelude to orgiastic copulation, the perverse occupies an important space in his canvases.
All these themes are conveyed in signature loud and fluorescent colours, in a slew of often distorted visual planes. Another leitmotif in Hussain’s art are the animal figures, and Hussain credits his childhood in the village to the lush imagery of dogs and pigs alongside the disturbingly jovial human figures.
At Vadehra Art Gallery, Okhla, New Delhi; till 17 February. The works range between Rs 8 lakh to Rs 9.5 lakh.
Santiniketan-based artist S.K. Sahajahan has over the years evolved his own style of depicting human figures marked by broad clearly-etched faces, frog-like muscular limbs and a somewhat androgynous treatment of gender. For the artist, many of the works are his natural reaction to the social phenomena afflicting the human race. If Terror’s Effects on Innocent World is his rendition of what 9/11 means for human consciousness the world over, Social Violence deals with themes of marital rape and polygamy.
Most of the works are done in mixed media that combines acrylic paint, oil pastel, conte, charcoal, oil paint, water colour, among others.
At the Chawla Art Gallery, Saket, New Delhi; till 10 February. The paintings are priced at between Rs75,000 to Rs4.5lakh