The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains'

The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains' Revant Dasgupta

A lot of us are forced into boxes while growing up. We try to cultivate this thing called 'identity' by making little peep holes in them. Led by confusion, growing up years of our being are often a struggle when met with the idea of adulthood. At Method gallery, Revant Dasgupta showcases the utter confusion and alienation experienced in childhood within the boxes of standard identity given to us from birth, in his first solo show, ‘Growing Pains’. Revant recollects his memories of childhood and tries to find a sense of meaning in his adulthood. He presents and deconstructs the institution that shaped him while questioning his gender identity. In the conversation below, we explore his process, challenges and the beauty of absurdity in his works. 

The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains'

Challenges of Cultivating First Solo Show
There were quite a few issues I faced while putting this together, probably the most common being with staying financially stable throughout the period of putting this body of work together. Balancing work, figuring out space while also finding the time to paint, which would often result in me having to put in long hours at the end of a hectic day. A lot of people my age are at a point where they are just starting off with their career so I could see how this could be a difficult entry point for many. Especially, if you do large paintings. I think another common thing I faced is that a lot of people seem a bit unsure of you when you are young, because since it's a first show there seems to be an uncertainty with regards to where the artist will go on their journey or even their art style. 

The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains'

Self-expression in Art
I've been making art in some form or the other since as long as I can remember, it's always been a way for me to express myself and the way I was feeling since I'm not very good at expressing myself otherwise. So, in a way I have always expressed myself through my work. The kind of lifestyle I'm leading and where I am mentally, has always shown in my work. I got a psychoanalyst on recommendation by a friend and fellow artist somewhere in 2022 which has changed how I look at my work and has helped me gain a lot of clarity about my process. That's around the time I first started working on the themes that eventually matured into the work in this show. The idea was to look at everything I've always talked about and put myself into those surroundings to reflect on how they affect me.
 

The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains'

Creating Without a Plan
I usually have a general idea of the mood or the feeling of what I'm going to make. Post which I prefer to go straight onto whatever I'm working on be it canvas, paper or concrete. I prefer to not plan or give myself time to think because that usually hinders the process of getting the most raw image out of the process. I prefer to start and go straight in, and then see what goes best with what and take it one step at a time from there. When I am done, I want to see it for the first time as well as opposed to planning it and putting it together from the start. 

The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains'

Wobbly Boundaries and Floating Imagery
This is the first time somebody has asked me about this and to be honest I have never thought of it like that. I think it's interesting you mention this because I've always loved how it looks, and I like that it gives my forms a more free and flowing structure as opposed to a more rigid and almost mechanical look that a lot of clean lines tend to go for. I enjoy having an element of "looseness" in my work for the lack of a better word. It just feels more human and I think goes well my overall ideologies and personal taste.

The Absurdity of 'Growing Pains'

A Spectacle of Absurdity
I think the general tone of the exhibition was to present things as they are, without adding any commentary about it. So, kind of just stare it at its face and in the process acknowledge how absurd all of it really is. It's kind of an ode to where I am in my life right now and everything around me, looking at all the terrible things and the great things as one whole image and in the process maybe seeing humour in how extremely intense but completely absurd it is to just exist. So, in a way it is at a face value as it gets. Because in my opinion the whole thing is just a part of life, and new things will come both good and bad and I'll probably feel very similarly about them, or maybe not, and the extreme intensity of that is kind of funny. 

Words Paridhi Badgotri
Date 31.03.2024