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Voice of the silenced- 'Lines of life' - an exhibition of paintings by Artist Raju Baviskar

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

Artist Raju Baviskar

There is something consistent across the body of works by the veteran artist Raju Baviskar. But when I requested him for a few words about his artworks, he never mentioned that.

He said, 'I express the peaceful and happy togetherness of the people in the village even if an outsider from the upscale society of the town finds them to be in acute distress. The simplicity and love for each other, render their lives blissful, unlike the distraught lonely souls of the metros lost in the glory of riches and luxury.'

Of course, his artworks convey that but there is another aspect.

Most of the human figures depicted in his paintings are without much details of the facial features. At times, there are no eyes, no noses or no mouth. In some, the mouth or eyes are almost blurred out. And these are paintings. Paintings do not talk. Paintings do not make noise. But his paintings are not silent. They speak volumes despite having no mouth. They glare at the viewer without a pair of eyes. They talk about their lifetime of agony or pain. Their screams at times resound across the exhibition hall, emerging from some primitive depth of time.

Well, he did not mention this when I asked. It is probably because he wanted me to hear the voices.

At Maharashtra Cultural Centre in Pune, Artist Raju Baviskar's paintings will be exhibited until 27th May '23 starting from today. Luminaries from the world of art and literature inaugurated the show. I was there too as a guest and admirer. Of course, he is a rare personality who navigates through the realm of words and images with equal ease and passion. His autobiographical book, Kalya Neelya Resha (Black Blue Lines), is admired highly in the Marathi literary circle.

Raju Baviskar's paintings are testimony to the fact that truth can not be created but can be redefined. After all, we grow up in a world made up of code books and definitions. More we accept the definitions, better we get accepted by the world. But it is not necessary that the definitions are sincere to the truth. A creative person redefines truth. An honest piece of art is a statement of truth in defiance to convention. Raju Baviskar's paintings are such statements.

One must not miss this intellectually stimulating visual treat on display for next seven days.

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