Jahangir Y. Patel

Jahangir’s canvases are extensions of his self— the scars he had carved on his skin, penetrating deep into his flesh, resulting from his inner psychological battles. Painting or more aptly, engaging in at times a violent performative act with the surface which he painstakingly prepares, becomes the cathartic tool for the artist to purge and express, what he feels deep within. In doing so, Jahangir looks up to German and Abstract Expressionist artists for re-tracing an art-historical tradition of mental instability.  

For Jahangir’s present practice, sketching, drawing or any other regular formative practice become redundant. He instead tries to keep (in his own words) the ‘energy reserved’, building up to the encounter in the studio where he lays the canvas flat on the ground and till completion, aggressively attacks the surface with spatulas, blades, sticks, synthetic resin emulsions and enamel paints. The fluidity of the mediums and materials have a significant impact on the image, punctuated by the occasional use of paint-brushes for mark-making, often in the form of splashing.

It is through this brutal honesty of Jahangir’s personality that one has to enter his canvases, wherein he feels the need to vent out the repressed darkness of his psyche.

Untitled series

Artist Biography

Self-taught, Jahangir Y Patel, started figuration with drawing and watercolor before gradually moving to acrylic in order to create impasto effect in his figures from 2011 onwards. However, the lifeless and artificial placid nature of acrylic was soon discontinued. During this period the figuration of his Jahangir’s works slowly gave away more of their socially recognizable traits and started occupying the entirety of the canvas. This is perhaps because except our body all other keepsakes of pain fades away. Body becomes the only container of pathological pain. This exposure of flesh, often soaked in blood, acutely point out the helpless fate of human experience of pathological pain which cannot be shared by anyone but the self.  

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