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Nimesh Patel

Nimesh Patel lives and works in Vadodara, but grew up in the small town of Navsari near Surat in Gujarat. Subsequently, this has made him acutely aware of the world 'outside' the small town - the great metropolis, globalised India and the world that lies beyond his country's borders. The aspiration created by the big city is balanced out by his critique of how the so-called civilised world treats its villages and towns - much in the same way that globalised entities treat Indian backwaters as its official dumping ground for chemical waste.

His works reveal the influence of his training, combining the drawing skills he acquired during his Diploma at the Mehra Kala Vichyalaya at Navsari, and an impetus to experiment with various formats and media that is the result of the exposure he received during his Post Diploma in Painting at the MS University, Vadodara.

Although Patel's portfolio includes paintings of semi-urban landscapes that reference environmental issues, his art practice currently focusses on representing popular icons in a photorealist style. Patel's depictions of his subjects draw not on life studies but on visual references in other media such as photographs in newspapers and magazines. Patel has always had an affinity for portraiture rendered in charcoal and paint, characterised by decisive lines, complemented by an adept use of chiaroscuro - the use of light and shade.

His recent body of work, dwelling on icons, is equally political - examining the ability of leaders to bring about change in society and the flip side of the popular aspirations they funnel.

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