Unmasking the real identity

Solo exhibition by Viraj Khanna showcases people’s tendency to exaggerate and embellish their everyday reality

Artist Viraj Khanna’s solo show ‘In My Fever Dream’, being held on December 2-11 at LTC, Bikaner House, depicts the effects of societal forces on individual identity, the true nature of which often gets masked.

Khanna has used different elements such as thread, beads, pearls and other hand-created materials to give structure to his figurative work.

This acute awareness is reflected in his current body of works, which finds form prevalently through textiles, and portrays the colourful complexity of human nature.

“This series is a reflection of my personal experiences and the way I relate to the world. When I create, I think about the human condition, about people and their behaviours. Societal influences changing our personalities and the way we perceive reality interest me greatly,” said Khanna.

Essentially, it emphasises people’s tendency to exaggerate and embellish their everyday reality, fuelled by a need to appear larger than life. The artist encourages us to not only be a spectator to this masquerade, admire its obvious extravagance, but also try to see beyond its overtly flamboyant facade and parse its underlying motivations. His fanciful creations are threaded into tapestries with outlandish figures, and a shapeshifting quality reminiscent of a particularly frenetic fever dream. 

Keen observation of his environment and a profound impression left by significant social interactions continue to shape Khanna’s practice as an artist. For this body of figurative creations, he draws from a collective sum of life experiences that have entrenched themselves deep within his subconscious, stimulating his psyche intensely. His encounters with a motley crew of indelible characters have culminated in vivid pastiches of carnivalesque non-realistic figures that seem to defy society’s paradigm of normative behaviour. 

Khanna adds, “This time, I have used different elements such as thread, beads, pearls, and other hand- created materials in order to give structure to my figurative work. A multitude of things within serves to express the various experiences that have made an impact on me. Also, it is often wise to take everything with a pinch of salt.”

The exhibition is presented by Gallery Art Exposure.

 

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