At home with humanity

Artist Vikash Kalra has pledged Rs 100 crore to NGOs working to support the marginalised through sale of his artwork that depicts the suffering brought on by the pandemic

Drawing inspiration from themes of suffering and rebirth, hope and life, artist Vikash Kalra’s collection has been touted as one of the most moving portrayals of pain and human emotion by many critics across India. Titled ‘Rebuilding India Brick by Brick’, his new collection is for a cause. 

The Delhi-based self-taught artist announced his long-term association with Habitat for Humanity and dedicated his entire new collection to Coronavirus victims and families in India. 

Kalra presents art with a conscience, his artworks dedicated to humanity. The crucification and sacrifice of Christ have been painted to raise funds through the organisation Habitat for Humanity, that presents India’s vision as a “world where everyone has a decent place to live.” 

Over the years, Kalra has carved his niche in the art circuit with his unique approach to art and sculpting, with his works only to emote feelings and moods from perceptions and experiences. His latest collection, as the name goes, draws inspiration from real-life suffering and uses abstractions to portray the struggle, pain, anger and then hope for better times. 

“As an artist, I feel I have been given the opportunity to not just present my art for a cause but deliver a powerful message on what real suffering means and entails. The inspiration of Christ and his story is perhaps the apt way to express this and the success of this collection gives me immense satisfaction on my contribution to both art and the cause of humanity. These are indeed challenging times and I, therefore dedicate my entire collection to make a difference somewhere for someone,” says Kalra.

The collection has been categorised into five —  Jesus, Still Life, Landscape, Figurative works, and Heads — which is a series of paintings themed to narrate the challenges for humanity and how it is coping. The paintings dig into the emotions of the many sections of society who were rendered helpless during the pandemic. This features migrant workers, commercial sex workers, daily wage earners, differently-abled communities and so on. His works for this collection bring out their visage and their pain on his canvas and out to the world.

Kalra has also pledged to donate at least Rs 100 crore to multiple NGOs for the support of the marginalised sections of society, as part of his proceeds. 

The online exhibition is available at till January 15

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