BY JYOTSNA SHARMA
Gopal Samantray’s show ‘The Enigma of a New Landscape’ opened on the 13th of May 2016 at Art District XIII. Through his work he is commenting on the fact that humans are destroying the planet earth. More specifically, he brings to notice how we are responsible for obliterating the natural habitat of various endangered species; as a result they are forced to come into our space.
This poignant message has been presented with great simplicity. He has been working laboriously on perfecting his technique for the past decade. What you see in this exhibition is a result of years of experimentation with colour & technique. This show also has sculptures, which are an extension of his paintings.
‘Royal Palace III’ is a fascinating work. The Mona Lisa in the background and the cheetah on a chaise longue imply that the cheetah might soon become rare enough to be seen in a museum.
‘Roaring’ depicts a lioness roaring against a background of light bulbs on vines. Here the decorative background indicates a man-made environment, whereas, the rough texture of the body of the lioness suggests how this species is slowly nearing extinction.
‘Flying’ depicts a zebra flying above a city, there are planes flying in the background. This painting comments on the fact that our destroying of their habitat is akin to warring countries/ states forcefully taking over each other’s lands.
‘Iron Forest’, depicts a peacock perched on an iron pillar instead of a tree underscoring the fact that the issue of deforestation should be addressed.
‘Extended Horizon’, depicts how urbanisation is causing deforestation. The staircase shows that we are moving towards building concrete jungles.
The show is on till the end of June 2016. It is a must see.