Lifestyle Books and Art 21 Nov 2018 A new look to old im ...

A new look to old images

Published Nov 21, 2018, 12:35 am IST
Updated Nov 21, 2018, 12:35 am IST
Artist Masuram Ravikanth is displaying his latest body of work which has images of the digitally enhanced photographs.
Works of artist Masuram Ravikanth
 Works of artist Masuram Ravikanth

He is an artist known for his intricately rendered canvases. But a display of his latest work is ample indication that local artist Masuram Ravikanth is equally at home with new media art.

A collection of digital works by him are presently on display at the newly founded Kaleidoscope digital art gallery in New Delhi.


“The gallery only displays art works in the form of digital photography, videos, films, sound and animation. Mine is the second show since its inception” the artist says.

Titled, Slippery Memories, Unhinged Histories, the solo show projects over 400 images of digitally enhanced and superimposed photographs on which he had worked from 2009 to 2014, he adds.


Masuram’s body of work traverses through the terrains of a bygone era, exploring and revisiting them with a brand new perspective and stylisation. He clubs the excerpts of the historical, personal, socially and culturally relevant past memoirs with visual elements picked up from contemporary life with finesse. A wide span of time gets covered on one picture surface and intrigues the viewer with its mix-n-matched identity and amalgamation. 

He elaborates, “The past plays a prominent role in my creative oeuvre. As a child I spent a lot of time in my father’s photo studio watching him work with varied backdrops and sets. Those visual reminiscences are an indispensible part of my entity and often get expressed through my work. The relics from the past, personal as well as historical, from my family albums as well as from those of unknown aristocratic families are the core material of my creative inspiration.”

His present series subsumes different kinds of themes together. Some are based on self-portraits clicked in varied decked-up stances in the surroundings of the 1960’s photo studio.

Ironically, these recreate popular, filmy, conventional and stereotyped postures with a marked streak of humour. The background scenery of the self-portraits enhances the theatrical and dramatic ambience of the images and includes the props and paraphernalia of a typical photo studio.

Quite interestingly, some of the other works are based on archived photographs superimposed with excerpts from the paintings of eminent and famous Indian artists. The stark contrast between the two images initiates an allegory and a random connection which intrigues.