VIVEEK SHARMA BIOGRAPHY
To most art connoisseurs, Viveek Sharma needs no introduction. A vibrant, internationally active, and successful artist whose intensive paintings are mesmerizing the art world. His work is held in important private and corporate collections within India and overseas, including a commissioned artwork that he did for Troubadour, Tokyo. Viveek Sharma was born in Mumbai in 1968. He received his BFA from Sir J. J. School of Art in 1994, one of the oldest and most prestigious art institutions in India, that is home to many world-famous alumni. Residencies in Germany and Switzerland have given him a further opportunity to study and work in a newer context and get inspired by some of the European masters.
The exceptional quality of Viveek’s brushstrokes, the stunning depth of his compositions, and his often symbolic references convey a unique feeling of contemplation. A painter of metaphors, mostly in oil on canvas, is recognized for its large-sized photorealistic renderings. In Viveek’s works, we see an aspect of superrealism that gives into the absurd and magical. Many of his works reflect the here and now; realities that evoke strong sentiments, and play a role in the configuration of our emotions. His work devotes ample space to teach us how to see the miraculous in the vernacular and elevate our powerlessness as subjects to aspects of the sublime. The persona of the artist appears in several of his compositions. In a mix of the real and imagined, there is an engaging depiction of the street processions, celebrations and the slums of Dharavi as well as eminent figures, popular icons and moments of history – ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Obama to the 26/11 terror siege of Mumbai.
The central subject of Viveek Sharma’s body of work, “Silence, Please!” are ascetics or sadhus. Those who choose the path of austerity and sacrifice of life’s luxuries, in search of the ultimate release from the cyclic binding of earthly life. Depicted as profound portraits, as well as being in acts of devotion, the protagonists are both familiar and alien. They symbolize a world separated from the mundane bustle of everyday urban existence. Yet, seen through the lens of cultural consciousness; they are distinctive forms that make themselves apparent in the subcontinent’s spirituality. The portraits capture a variety of emotional essences and subtle energies — the gaze in each case is different, some averted, and others directly engage the viewer. Is it a gaze of surrender, one of humility or compassion? Is it a knowing gaze of experience and wisdom, lost in sacred ecstasy, or one of innocence and acceptance?
The skins, once youthful and unwrinkled, now carry ritualistic marks of the ascetic — ash and sandalwood, with lime and bright red powders, illuminating the third eye on the forehead. These can be seen as masks of otherness, distinguishing “them from “us.” These sadhus are symbols of silent reflection in a world of conflict and tension. Their presence sustains the belief that sacred spaces and prayer can offer something beyond the mechanical grind of everyday life. They watch the world go by and are challenged to remain unaffected; they seek other worldly truths in the midst of a populace hurrying about at a frenzied pace, attempting to achieve the unattainable.
The artist studies obscure expressions and complexity of feeling through the rhythm of his brush, using a meditative and intricate repetition of the pointillist technique to create patterns of light and shade, hue and colour for the eyes to behold. The tones themselves are blended to evoke consciousness of certain psychologically representative colours — saffron and green, vermillion, white and calm blue. They are visual suggestions towards a concentrated core of understanding, where introspection brings about the experience of silence and vice versa.
Viveek Sharma is an ambassador for modern contemporary Indian art. He has shown significant commitment and courage to experiment, vastly helping him flourish as an artist. His earlier works reveal that he had been an illustrator of skill, later evolving through different genres – phases of abstraction, pop art, and surrealistic influences. Winner of several awards, his work has been exhibited extensively in various Indian metros and International galleries in Germany, Switzerland, France, and the USA.