Vinod Dave

Mixed Media/ Reflections on Indian Popular Culture
November 12 - December 15, 1998
New York

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October 17, 1998, New York - Bose Pacia Modern gallery presents an exhibition of paintings by Vinod Dave. The show will run from November 12 through December 15, 1998. The gallerys located at 580 Broadway, 2nd floor, in Soho. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6 p.m. and by appointment. A reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, November 12 from 6-8 p.m. The public is invited.

The art of Vinod Dave has at its core the imagery inherent in the popular culture of India, with all of the tensions and contradictions that so define that culture. Perhaps more than any other in the world, India's pop culture is profoundly susceptible to international mass media. The infiltration of media, commercialism and consumerism into the pure, "home-spun", centuries old, indigenous fabric of Indian life is only one of the fascinating contradictions that provide the imagery for Dave's recent paintings. Mr. Dave was born and raised in Gujrat and received his art education from the most avant garde of Indian art schools, The Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. In 1993, he was the first Indian artist to be awarded the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship. Since that time, he has divided his life between cultures and continents, living and working in India and in New York. This multi-cultural life gives Mr. Dave an unique perspective on today's India and its relationship with the West.

Included in this exhibition is a series of 16 works on paper entitled "The New York Times: India Issue," in which the artist creates a fantasy issue of the Sunday New York Times . In this series, American mass media and Indian pop culture collide, resulting in an explosion of vibrant color and brilliant imagery that speaks to the core issues of spiritualism and fundamentalism, of commercialism and asceticism within a country that is rapidly rising to the surface of the American consciousness. This brilliant fusion of the American media icon and Indian culture also speaks to the complex relationships that Indian expatriates in America have with their homeland, balancing feelings of pride and vindication on the one hand with guilt and alienation on the other. Reflected in the collage elements of this series one sees the results of mixing and melding different media from different cultures as divergent as the New York Times and India Abroad, the largest circulating newspaper for Indian Americans.

Vinod Dave has developed brilliant mastery in the techniques of mixed media manipulations, combining elements of collage, photography and painting to evoke unique surface textures and luminescence. These formidable skills have never been more beautifully depicted then in the series of new canvases that are on view. These paintings are an eloquent expression of Dave's multiculturalism. They begin in the rural farming villages of Gujrat where the artist photographs posed local villagers dressed in the Navaratri theatrical costumes of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These photographic elements are transferred onto canvas in the bath-tub darkroom of his West Village studio. In other paintings, he begins with photographs taken in Manhattan where multi-ethnic New Yorkers wearing Levis and Nikes are posed as Hindu saints and deities. These canvases then serve as the backdrop for the final painting and photo manipulation resulting in exquisite, subtle images that draw the viewer into a twilight world between East and West where all things seem disconcertingly familiar, yet reassuringly foreign.