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Gautam Vir Prashad’s Limited Edition Mixed Media Photographs

Rita Bhimani

The lines between painting and photography and cleverly crafted photographic art blurred delightfully in just the same manner as the colors, moods, situations made an impassioned whirligig for viewers at Gautam Vir Prashad’s Limited Edition Mixed Media photography exhibition quirkily titled “Mixed Up” at ITC Sonar on the 29th of March.

This double major in filmmaking, with his master’s in motion picture and TV production, from the University of California, his work in Bollywood films, and his decade-long involvement in the industry in various capacities, appears to have found his special calling in still photography. He has straddled the worlds of USA and his home in India, with equal ease, but there is just that extra tipping over to the heartland and mindscape of India in his current work.

He captures with vigor the vibrancy of Rajasthani people and caparisoned bulls, embellishing them cleverly with embroidery, some even with French knots, and then again you find a tranquil Northern Californian sunset dotted with actual jewels implanted into the sky or even a classic Red Door at the Taj Mahal, its trellised wooden detailing in sepia contrasting with the chequered marble flooring. Or look at the Naval mural before which stands a Fiat taxi, both telling varying tales, but caught in the same intrepid moment. And then there is his creative use of whole doors and windows in which are embedded still life and arty angles of Indian monuments, doorways, footwear, transport parts, gleefully collaged.

Extremely collectible, the highest going for Rs. 35,000, while a whole lot of small mounted photographs were picked up by attendees for between Rs. 1500 and Rs. 3000. This was the second exhibition at ITC’s Welcomart gallery, inaugurated by Naresh and Sunita Kumar, who had done the honors at another solo of this talented young man who is seen with his large lensed cameras in diverse Calcutta settings, capturing candid points in time.