Deccan Chronicle

Contemporary strokes: A solo art show

Deccan Chronicle| christopher isaac

Published on: December 9, 2016 | Updated on: December 10, 2016

The rising tide of voices talking about mental health has risen, and joining that chorus is city-based artist, illustrator and musician.

Talented: Pranati's show will speak about  substance abuse, depression and denial.

Talented: Pranati's show will speak about substance abuse, depression and denial.

The 24-year-old Pranati Khanna will be holding a solo art show titled Naked from December 16, based on the months of depression that she went through in the past one year.

"I wanted to display 12 canvasses that I made this year, because I thought I made some of my best work out of depression," Pranati says, adding, "It was the worst time of my life, and painting was one of the few outlets I had. I wouldn’t go out and I’d just sit at home and paint, unless I had a gig."

A product of the city’s Nasr Girls School, Pranati grew up in a household filled with artistic influences — her grand-uncle is renowned progressive artist, Krishen Khanna. "We had his art work and his friends’ art work between my grandparents and parents’ house, and I was fascinated by them. As a kid too, I’d paint and draw cartoons, and that’s how it started," she says.

Pranati began dabbling with experimental photography, adding elements and morphing them into works of art. At the age of 19, she had her first exhibition, which was appreciated by artist Surya Prakash. "There was this one particular work, called Seige, and he stopped at it and said, ‘This is my favourite. For a 19-year-old you’ve done some really mature work.’ That made me very happy," Pranati gushes.

While she’s more comfortable working with digital mediums for her art, Naked is primarily an acrylic-based series with a few mixed prints. Pranati has also partnered with Hope Trust, a city-based rehabilitation centre that will talk about alcohol and substance abuse at the opening of her show. They plan to put up posters across the city.

She says, "Because this show is about substance abuse and depression, it will touch people’s minds... many go through it."

Pranati lists M.F. Husain and N.S. Bendre as some of her favourite artists, but says Vincent Van Gogh is her favourite. "Circumstance is what made him famous. He was never popular when he was alive. I love that — not chasing fame, but doing it anyway," Pranati says.

Also fronting the band The Ragamuffins, Pranati has a lot to work on. "It’s a bit of a struggle; you have to wake up early, paint through the day, go for a gig at night. But if my art really did pick up, I would still never give up music. Nothing makes me as happy as music does."

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