INTERVIEW

Vijender Sharma: David Copperfield of the Indian art world

Artist Vijender Sharma is a well-known personality. His painting has a language of their own, mesmerising all by their painstaking detailing.  Every single painting by Vijender Sharma is a consequence of personal experience. A gold medallist with distinction at PG level from New Delhi’s College of Art. He has honed his talent over time since then.  He was invited by President Estate to paint the honourable President of India Dr Pranab Mukherjee. Vijender has had the privilege to sketch People’s President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as well, during his tenure as a President of India.

Dr Pranab posed for the portrait with the Indian Flag and Globe on either side of him. The portrait painted in oil depicts Dr Pranab and wearing the black achkan, white pyjamas and black shoes. The president’s energy and optimism vibrates which Vijendra had captured in this portrait. This accuracy was possible because Vijendra spends the time to familiarise himself with the person he is going to paint. Sitting down with Dr Mukherjee for the initial meeting in President’s House and hearing about his views, he knew he wanted the portrait to capture his vision towards the nation and across the globe.“There were a seriousness and conviction about him, and he takes learning and his job as president very seriously. That’s what I kept in mind while I was painting. It was important to him, and it definitely affected the outcome of the portrait,” Vijender said. “It was an honour for me to paint him for posterity.”

Vijender assimilates into his work components of pragmatism and fictional alike, rendering immaterial concepts into everyday images and making statements on religion and evolution alike. Known as a thought provocative, magically realistic artist and ‘David Copperfield’ of the art world in India, the Internationally acclaimed celebrity  artist Vijender Sharma is a story-teller– his works have narrative qualities– are simple and yet compelling. He is a figurative painter– there is a high level of spiritualism in his works– which conveys a pure feeling of love and longing– perhaps understandably with his candid naturalism and bold use of colour. Apart other mediums, illusion works are a common sight in the artworks by Vijender Sharma.

Whether it is still life; figurative work; or, symbolic representation of the subject—Vijender Sharma pays great attention to detail using the play of light very imaginatively and, thereby, adding an element of incredibility to realism, surrealism or illusion in his works. He uses simple idioms on simple subjects blending them with symbolism, realism, surrealism or illusion with great effect elevating his works to a level of spiritualism.

While one canvas seeks to remember Gandhi in our times, with bloodstains, glasses and philosophy book, loin cloth over the drawn frame, another interprets Radhika as splendidly erotic, her clothes wet and clinging, peacock feather in one hand, arrow in the other. Yet a third, titled Evolution, casts a monkey as Rodin’s Thinker, a human mask in front of its face pulling racial extraction into sharp focus for the viewer. ‘Which face is mine’ painting by the artist depicts the dilemma of a person, who has to show different faces to different people to smoothen her life. In this process, she has forgotten her real face. In painting, many faces are displayed which a person uses while dealing with different people and situations.

He works minutely and intricately on his realistic paintings. He has mastered the skill of transporting realism into the realm of illusion. He has always painted dream worlds, the world that “is only half articulate and leaves the rest to a strange eloquent silence”.

The artist lives in New Delhi.

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