M. Pravat is an accomplished artist based in New Delhi. He has had successful shows in Berlin, New York and Basel as well as across India. Now in his 40s, his work continues to follow the theme of architecture to explore our sense of who we are, our conflicting aspirations, and our notions of reality.
'My practice is deeply embedded in manifestations and imagined aspirations of architectural spaces. The intersection of images and built environments increasingly offers possibilities to imagine space in the contemporary moment, especially when different utopia’s are on a collision course with one another. With the world today swarmed by an excess of images and virtual spaces, what constitutes the notion of reality is in drastic flux. I explore what this phenomena of excess does to our imagination of concrete spaces, while on the other hand, I try to shed off representational familiarity associated with our built environment. In doing so, I find myself redistributing and reconfiguring the relationship between images and materials that are central to our idea of space and forms.'
M. Pravat is a graduate and master of the prestigious Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University in Baroda, and was the recipient of the Pro Helvetia artist residency in Switzerland.
The inside series currently consists of 4 large acrylic on canvas works. Exquisitely painted, they are part photo-realistic, part abstract.
Through the bold interpretation of a jaali (the stone latticed screens prevalent in Indian architecture designed to provide both decoration and discretion), we see intricate interiors reminiscent of the British aristocracy of old. Each scene suggests but is devoid of human presence, inducing a perceptible silence.
The starkly contrasting styles, a partially hidden scene, and the intimation of human presence, provide a sense of modern day India’s complex and at times contradictory psyche in relation to its colonised past.
The Blueprint series
Here, M. Pravat cultivates his fascination with real and imagined spaces by delving deep into world of architectural notes, elevation plans, blueprints, and collages. He has applied a deliberate meticulousness and contrasted architectural naivety to conceive each ‘construction’.
‘My interest in architecture comes from how urban-planners and architects depend so much on drawing. I like to mimic their process, but since I am not a trained architect, my mimicry highlights the abstractness of the entire endeavour.’
Each of these original pieces uses mixed-media on canvas or paper.