top of page

Reality redefined - Artist Dhiraj Khandelwal - Art review

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

Artists always wanted to depict the reality through their artworks since the days of the first known painting in an Indonesian island, 45000 years ago. Hence, art, in a way, is always realistic. Since, the reality projected on the canvas or paper are usually the subjective reality perceived by the artist, the nature of art appears to differ from one artist to the other. Picasso’s reality looked different than the reality of Pollock.

In India, unlike the west, the classical tradition of realistic painting is still in vogue. But there are aspects hidden beneath an immediate impression when we encounter such an artwork. Romartika attempted to explore such undercurrents by exploring the artworks of Artist Dhiraj Khandelwal.

At a glance, the paintings of Dhiraj Khandelwal, an architect turned artist, appear to be extreme order of realism. But on a closer inspection, something else begin to surface. Are they realistic indeed? Because when we look at an object, we do not get to see the entire surrounding with as much clarity. We see only the focused section with distinctness. Rest of the area within our range of vision exist more like nonentities, accompaniment in a platter of food.But in the paintings of Dhiraj Khandelwal, every object stands clear and loud with minutest details. Hence, can we call it realism in strict sense? Of course, one can say that the west had been painting this way for almost a thousand years perfecting the craft with time. But the same question hangs there too. Did they translate real vision on canvas on stone or plaster?

The second aspect we can think of is the similarity with photographs of very high resolution. But there too we find a parting of ways. Simple photographs that serve the purpose of portraits, are generally not interesting when the subject is not familiar to the viewer. It is just another face in the crowd irrelevant to most. Like, ‘My uncle’ or ‘My grandfather’ or ‘My neighbour’. Frankly speaking, another may not be curious to see. Dhiraj Kandelwal’s paintings often capture the images of women in animated gestures. The moment is highly dynamic. A suspense hangs. What was before and what is next? Also, we stop on our tracks wondering why? The expressions on the face of the woman on the canvas appear to speak volume in silence. The viewer tends to pay attention to some unheard whisper.

So, his artworks are not dead portraits of people we can not relate with. On the contrary, the images are animated and enigmatic. From that perspective, his paintings are not like photographs of high resolution. They are much more than that.

Romartika cannot find the right term for his style. It is different than classical realism and much more than photograph. The artist says about his painting, ‘Realism is tough because it is easily understood by anybody. Hence, realistic art is quickly subjected to criticism. The challenge lies there. As for abstract, the artist can have many escape routes of excuse like perception and thought or stuff like that.’ Of course, he closes his statement with a rider that he is not against the modern abstract expressionism.

All said and done, Dhiraj Khandelwal’s art is reality redefined!

If you wish to see more paintings by Artist Dhiraj Kahndelwal, please visit the following link

64 views0 comments


bottom of page