ESSAY BY LEELA MAYOR
SPACE & FREEDOM
Ajay Choudhary is largely a self-taught artist who has made it to the mainstream art circuit in India.
His works are abstract but it would be fair to say that he is a purist abstractionist. Drawing inspiration from Pollock, de Kooning and the like, some of his works echo the concerns of the second generation abstract expressionists of New York like Michael Goldberg but he is canny and dexterous enough to have steered clear of any kind of obvious derivation. As they say all art relies on history and it is very difficult to find the space and freedom of expression and the chance of creating newness as perhaps the early cave painters did, but Ajay seems to be achieving this impossible.
I call him a purist abstractionist because not only are the paintings and drawings abstract, he has reduced them to a minimal palette of colour which consist of largely black and white hatchings, lines erasures and scrapings on white paper. He also works with acrylic on canvas where the same formal concerns express themselves. For the large body of abstract works on paper he has reduced the image (perhaps this is a wrong word) to a tangle of intertwining lines and hatches and scratching.
There is a certain mathematics to his paintings also. Perhaps this comes from his science studies or is an innate aesthetic and intellectual sensibility that he possesses. All the paintings tend towards infinity or a nullness.
ON GOING JOURNEY
Within his works there is also the economy of a sublime piece of a musical composition. He started his engagement with abstraction about 10-12 years ago. His background is unusual. He is a Civil engineering graduate who turned to the law enforcement department for a job. The juxtaposing of his day job of time spent dealing with murders, brawls, inner city problems and his artistic bent make a strange association.
He draws inspiration from the urban potpourri of images that we often see while on the road. Defaced advertisements on buses, hoardings, and posters all inform his works. He does not carry a sketch book but makes mental jottings of such images and returns home to translate them to canvas or paper. He muses on the possibilities of perhaps one day being able to make that single mark on canvas or paper which will speak volumes by its sheer and gusty minimalism. But that is still a journey to be embarked on.
Photos and Text © Chaitya Dhanvi Shah
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