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Nataraj Sharma

Nataraj Sharma's work appears at first glance to be a direct study of his immediate environment, his paintings and large scale installations are layered with multiple meanings and narratives that add a richness and poignancy to the images. The appeal of the work, in fact, lies in its ambiguity. While Sharma has many strong socio-political views, he never takes an absolutist stand. Instead, it is the shades of grey that he prefers to explore through his figure studies, portraits and landscapes. Perhaps this conscious position comes from his training as an artist in advertising, when Sharma quit the world of advertising to paint for his own contentment he decided that his art was not going to be geared towards any 'target audience' with any specific social 'message'.

Recently Sharma has been engaged in exploring urban landscapes and industrial geometry, playing and teasing the forms that they take, stretching their boundaries, and depicting civilisation through empty factories and battered machines.

His close brush with a spectacular air show in Baroda, the town where he currently resides, led him to embark on a series of works that both celebrate and critique these spectacular war machines. Playing upon this theme, the work he has created for the Mumbai International Airport contemplates the multiple meanings and emotions evoked by the svelte body of a fighter jet cutting through the sky: flight, beauty and freedom on the one hand, and death and destruction on the other.

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