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Siddharth: The New Kid on the Block: Well-Poised on His Way Forward - Creative Yatra

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Siddharth: The New Kid on the Block: Well-Poised on His Way Forward

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

Talking of abstract art Pablo Picasso had once said “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something (in realism). Afterward(s) you can remove all traces of reality.” Joan Mitchell said the opposite when she averred “All art is abstract, but it’s real!” Yes, for sure even as it also has another meaning to it.

So the implication is that abstract creativity is not really devoid of realism; it only has it hidden or invisibly laid within its folds; one only has to look out for traces of realism that need deciphering in such abstract art. Or even if we cannot look for the invisible or hidden, we may think it’s real for it’s there in the work as per the artist and we accept ‘his reality’.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

And yet to go further on that, read Picasso’s words carefully and you tend to infer that the route to abstract or evolved art must in some sense go through realism or figurative art for the uninitiated! But what if some people find their calling in abstract art from Day one?

Well you do have these practitioners and our new kid on the block has been one such artist-in-making who started off with hidden stories to his first two creations, has gone through his own plethora of doubts for a good one and half to two years, but eventually here he comes with his first solo show of all abstract that doesn’t look bad at all!

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

Enter Siddharth Patel at Amdavad ni Gufa today (Tuesday Apr 11) evening and we see his first Solo show of forty one abstract paintings created in almost a year a half.

Titled “Into The Wild” to depict the artist’s ‘wild plunge’ in the realm of painting, it’s not just a solo show for the name; it is a substantial body of work by any standards that the young traveller-cum-travel manager has managed to bring to his maiden “regular show” at a gallery proper. We  call this “first regular”, for, Siddharth did venture into a mini informal viewing of a limited number of his works at his studio in mid 2022, though only for some friends.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

The regular debut show of the young “abstractionist-in-making” was opened today at Amdavad Ni Gufa, Art Gallery by a quad of art-connected individuals, namely builder Narendra Patel, young gallerist of Archer Art Gallery Manan Relia and both art lovers & critics Shujaat Mirza and Naresh Gulati.

Before dwelling on some of Siddhartha’s works on show, it may be worth to have a look at the transformation that the young man has gone through from being a professional travel planner and an adventurous traveler of exotic places himself, to a “an expeditionist” into the colourful but emotional world of imagery and imagination by putting all other things in his life on hold!

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

That called for some courage and surely that took some time to decide.

This writer has in fact seen Siddharth deal with his dilemmas and doubts while taking this transformative plunge to delve deep into exploration for satiating a yearning from within for an ‘apt expression’ of his self. It’s incidental that he looks well poised to earn the tag of an ‘artist’ or an ‘abstractionist-in-making’ for his inner calling straightaway led him to this genre even as he had barely started holding the brush in front of the canvas on the easel.

He literally used a small wood plank to splatter dark colours on his first works (two of them later called by him Gateways to Opportunity) without much of a pattern or focal points within the canvas, for, that was mostly his idea of an abstract – as perhaps it also remains a popular and widely held perception. This was thereby his spontaneous response for yet another diptych creation which was to be later shown as his debut work with the title Privileged & Unprivileged. A phase of mental and existentialist dilemmas followed.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

But soon his office turned into a luxurious studio, once he showed a few works in two group shows for which he fondly remembers Namit Kadia and Nirav Shah both of whom facilitated a spot for him to show his early works at the two shows. Once he set sail in his office-turned-studio, he had no confusion as to forms and compositions which he instinctively started painting; and then there was no looking back while in the meantime he started reading about the abstractionists and their art, some of whom he has quoted from in his statement for the present Show. The abstract art also kind of gripped him as he saw the works in the genre at resorts like Taj Exotica in Andaman & Nicobar islands as part of his hotel inspection and scouting.

The other big influence has been his encounters to western music branches of “synth wave and dark wave”; and bands like M 83 and Zola Jesus and a few films and the three things together triggered and catalysed his creative journey over the last two years while his practical journeys came to a nought! Some of the songs have even resulted in titles of his present works as the energy from such fierce music helped create what he calls as “action paintings”.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

The little confusion that faintly and occasionally recurred in his head through early 2022, whether to keep fighting on two fronts one for a living and two for honing self-generating creativity was soon put to rest as he instinctively but unknowingly chose the poetic dictum made famous in eighties by the leftist Punjabi poet Pash “beech ka koi rasta nahin hota”! Good for him and all of it looks so far so good!

It’s because of this resolve in the mind of the artist that we see a body of some forty acrylic works – batting one in oil and another collage in mixed media – on canvas in sizes of 72” by 36”, 56” by 56” or in vicinity, or even diptych works in smaller sizes of 24” by 16” in Siddharth’s first show which have been pieced together during the interregnum since he showed his first set  “Privileged and Un-Privileged“ as written above.

Some of these works on show are intensely dark reflecting harsh realities of life, if not gloom; while others are colourful in all kinds of hues proclaiming that the world has its cheers in singing, music and traveling places. And then there is a fair share of works in lighter tones which could be just about being okay and at par with things all around us. Some of these light-hued small works are diptychs which including the other works in other colours and sizes make up a total of about 14 works.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

Taking a closer look one may relate to Siddharth’s works in four broad categories. The first among these categories is the works inspired by the memorial imagery of his travels or tourist-pilgrimage spots; say the titles Khumbu Icefall (sic) and Cloudburst in Kedarnath. When Khumbu Snowfall was created he actually did an exclusive FB post explaining the creative process for that particular work.

The second category is works that have been mostly inspired by some western music bands or singers namely M 83 and Zola Jesus. But the titles chosen with lyrics or visual imagery from the relative video albums tend to also speak on a standalone basis about Siddharth’s own dilemmas along his two year journey. These titles and the relative works not only speak externally but internally as well, as they depict the questions, doubts, suspicions and conflicts in his mind about the pursuit of creativity on which he embarks upon putting so much on stake. For example the works “Does it Give Better Than it Takes; Your Plan is Ridiculous; Why Not; Freedom; Rum me Out and “It’s All Over” relate to the flip-flop that he must have gone through at the thought level, besides being the compositions in colour aesthetics that they are.

There is then the third category beyond the artist’s own self where in spite of a possible musical or impulsive trigger at the core, he tends to be speaking about larger concerns of life in his works with relevant titles, for example the work named “Hunger” – this one you may feel portrays very subtle but ‘decipherable’ human figures with raised-outstretched hands, for a change in Siddharth’s overall style.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

Similarly, “What Remains of Us” possibly deals with the question of death which was so much around us through the last two years and which period has been a very fertile and productive one for our artist. Works like 1945 point to the ideological, sociological and economic upheaval, migrations and the allround devastation caused by the WWII, even as Siddharth directly intends to pin the time zone and his work to migration of many artists from Europe to America in the face of Fascism as a run up to that decisive year.

The Fourth category of works could be apparently seen as ‘core abstractions’ coming from an abstractionist now ‘well-made’, though the artist himself has a background mover for almost each of his works on display, much of which has as well been narrated in the videos of his creative process played as part of the show.

You could bracket some untitled works here, as well as the works like A Secret Mission, A Top Secret Mission and Minimalism, though the last one is named so for its gaps and shortness in computing. But the euphemism still says what it means with people who advance in age and learn to de-clutter their surroundings to eventually live in a minimalist fashion. May be this life philosophy for some who even catch it up when young, is weighing with the artist also in some ways who has been a traveler with a mere backpack. so it remains a conjecture at a secondary level of content, the form is what’s primary here.

Into The Wild - Siddharth Patel

There is much more to be seen in the show than we can pack in a limited review, which is nonetheless longer than usual.

With these thoughts about the show and the works on display we commend to Amdavadi audiences the bubbling Siddharth Patel who joins the burgeoning local club of abstractionists with a fair amount of promise. While we wish Siddharth Patel both professional and critical success and acclaim, this first solo show by Siddharth is on till April 16.

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