Pre Wedding Fun 72 x 48 inches Acrylic on canvas, 2021
Walter Benjamin in the Arcades Project explains the urban experience and commodity culture as a sequence of phantasmagorias which are described as dream-like representational images mixing fiction and reality. Contemporary culture with all its illusive imagery is a testimony to this concept. Thus, the exhibition Phantasmagoria brings together artists who problematize the concept of realism as well as reality, especially in an age which is a frenzy of simulations. Taking from pop culture while blurring the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, these artists form bricolages of mental landscapes. ‘Parody’ and ‘Pastiche’ are blended together to form a post postmodern critique of consumerism aesthetics. The painterly surface becomes the door to the phantasmatic terrains to tap onto the hidden realities.
If the modern individual was disenchanted with modernity, the contemporary ‘flaneur’ is hyper-aware of the spell cast by the late capitalist culture and the digital city. Through these dreamscapes then, it is possible to dissect any rigid notions of identity. The strangeness of subjects in these works can become a source of provocation for the viewer, revealing paradoxes and dichotomies. The very act of assembling together images and motifs from a vast repository of sources celebrates the diversity of cultures and universal human nature. While mapping these uncharted territories, humor becomes a tool to subvert any kind of monolithic concepts. This exhibition calls for attention to the underground sensibilities lying beneath the façade of glimmering city-lights and dwells upon the function of memory in an ever-increasing ephemerality of the media saturated society by delving deep into make-believe worlds.
Moon Walk 22 x 30 inches, Gouache and gold leaf on Saunders Waterford paper