LINE OF LIFE by Raj Kumar Mahajan

‘line of life’
A solo show by Rajkumar H. Mahajan
Curated by Mamta Upadhyaya (Journalist)

Inauguration: February 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm. Venue: Gallery No. 4, Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan,
35 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi-110001
On View: February 28 to March 5, 2017 (daily)
Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm  Contact: 9811376025 (Rajkumar H. Mahajan)
Email:  HYPERLINK “mailto:mahajan_raju@yahoo.com” \t “_blank” mahajan_raju@yahoo.com

Rajkumar an Associate Professor with the College of Art, New Delhi will be showcasing his digital artworks at a solo show titled ‘line of life’ to begin from February 27 until March 5, 2017, at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi. Eminent sculptor of India Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan awardee Shri Ram V Sutar would inaugurate the show on February 27 at 5:00 pm. The exhibition would be on from February 28 until March 5, from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Rajkumar’s digital artworks are original digital paintings created using innovative multimedia techniques and imaginative concepts. Around 30 black and white exhibits, mostly portraits of Indian politicians and renowned personalities from different walks of life, provide an insight into Rajkumar’s creative approach in embracing the digital technique to realise his vision. The series includes portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Dadasaheb Phalke, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, Lata Mangeshkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Anna Hazaare, Pranab Mukherjee, Narendra Damodardas Modi and Vilasrao Deshmukh who have inspired, influenced and shaped the artist’s life since his childhood.

“Portrait making is an important aspect for any artist. It reveals how an artist perceives a person he has portrayed on the canvas. I have observed, followed and researched a lot about these chosen subjects before depicting them on the canvas,” says Rajkumar about his paintings.

Inspired by the Baya weaver bird’s nest-building process, Rajkumar used the netted lines as a base for rendering his black and white digital portraits. “I was intrigued by the hard work done by the male Baya bird to build its nest. A male Baya is known to make more than 500 trips to complete a nest. The bird uses its strong beak to collect and strip the strands of paddy leaves and rough grasses and to weave and knot them while building the nest. Often built hanging over the water, the nest is so ingeniously constructed – a retort-shaped structure with a central nesting chamber and a long vertical tube leading to a side entrance to the chamber – that it should be considered as a beautiful artifact,” says Rajkumar explaining the inspiration and technique behind his artworks.

The lighting technique also plays an important role in these digital paintings. The black and white criss-cross lines coupled with light and shadow give an illusionary depth to the portraits. Rajkumar has followed the Dutch painter Rembrandt’s lighting technique to illuminate his subjects. Rembrandt lighting is characterised by an illuminated triangle under the eye of the subject on the less illuminated side of the face.

“Rembrandt lighting technique is commonly used in studio portrait photography. It helps to produce an image that is both natural and compelling. I used the technique to create an illusion of depth in my portraits,” says Rajkumar.

The exhibition aptly titled ‘line of life’ portrays people worth remembering and is a testimony to a deep human sentiment, the desire of the artist to leave a mark.
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About the artist

Rajkumar H. Mahajan

Born in 1971 at Latur, Maharashtra.

Rajkumar completed his Bachelor of Fine Art from the Government School of Art, Aurangabad (1993), Post Graduate Diploma in Art Education from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai (1995) and Master of Art (Drawing) from Jiwaji University, Gwalior (2004). He is an Associate Professor (Applied Art) at the College Of Art, New Delhi.
Rajkumar has widely exhibited in group shows in India and abroad, some of the important being one at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in 1996; International Art Festival, Mumbai; Coomarswamy Hall, Mumbai; AKS Art Gallery, Mumbai; P.L. Deshpande Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2013; 14th All India Water Colour Exhibition, AIFACS, Delhi in 2013; Annual Art Exhibition organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi in 2015 and several others.
Rajkumar has been honoured with several prestigious awards and recognition for his immense contribution to art with AIFACS Award, Delhi (Drawing Award) in 2011 and a Poster Competition Winner at the international ‘Typography Seminar and Workshop’ to be organised by the Department of Integrated Design University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka at Colombo, in February 2017. He has recently won a silver medal for the North Zone in the digital art category of the Kalanand Art Contest 2017, organised by Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation, India.

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