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Art Watch : Akash Choyal

Akash Choyal is our Art Watch Artist for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across nay discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch. 

Choyal’s works to me seem very much born of an imagination that is rooted within the earth. His sculptures seem not to have been created, but sprouted from a soul that hungers for a home. In his own words he describes his work to be a drawing out of his dream-states. He says – ‘In these works, I have confronted the real and the unreal’.

Akash Choyal was born in Udaipur in 1974, to a family of artists. In a sense the choice of his vocation does not come as a surprise. In Udaipur his family is hailed as art royalty. With every single member of the family being immersed in the field of art. From Mr. PN Choyal, his grandfather. The veteran artist received the prestigious National Award (Lalit Kala Akademi, ’98). Kala Ratna Award-2007 (highest honour in Contemporary Indian Art for a life time achievement). And a pass out from the JJ School of art in 1961-62. To Shail Choyal – the renowned miniaturist. His mother Surjeet Choyal as well as Charul Choyal (his wife).

Akash did his BFA degree from Faculty of Fine arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodra and earned a MFA, College of Art, New Delhi. His expertise lies in the field of of 3D-5D holographic technique. He currently resides  and works in Udaipur.

Why Akash Choyal?

His work, upon the first look itself, is a combination of technology and art. Akash Choyal creates fascinating 3D works that seem out of Alice in Wonderland. The mystery of life is apparent as it plays out in Choyal’s artwork. Akash is probably one of the first artists in India to have brought out 3-D paintings that resemble holograms. Replete with fantastical and surreal imagery, whether in 3-D or in fibreglass he is an artist to look out for.

He calls his sculptural works ‘triographs’, these 3-D paintings have a sense of dream-like movement. The artist is quick to dismiss claims of a running theme – “There is no particular theme as such; all my works are a mixture of fun and philosophy. The imagery in my triographs conveys a metamorphic transformation. A man could be riding a horse one moment and an elephant the other. It’s almost like an Alice in Wonderland in itself”. There is a sense of reading a stream of consciousness novel, an unbound and unrestricted quality that is present throughout.

Many artists have tried to work out the twists between real and unreal. And he himself sets out to draw his own state of dreams. On his canvas – men, beasts, plants, the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, and Gods armed with super powers and weaknesses all fit into their assigned places.

“Till date, my prime concern has been to restructure realities and to unveil the hidden truth lying beneath the surface of the objective reality. This could have been done due to a graphic approach of my drawing that are intricate and intuitive.”

Artistic Process & Vision

It is a part of his quest as an artist to try and grasp images of the unconscious depths and project them onto a surface. He gives them a validity through expressing them in various forms and shapes with a suitable symbolic apparatus.

Choyal has a clear artistic vision and it is best expressed in his own words -“I also believe that the journey of the line is filled with drama. Moving swiftly in a spontaneous free flow of thought, cutting spaces, dividing and creating with unfettered force, black against white emboldens me to the spiritual voyage.”

The artist has worked on different mediums like fiber constructions, etchings, paintings, paper mashie, paperboards, triograph, video art, sculpture etc. Gradually he is engaged in explored the possibilities on graphics. Combining technology and art in the triographs was not an easy one and to that end – he tries to remain true to the vision that he would like to follow.

The artist follows an unconventional style of painting where he allows his mind to drift to a dream-like state and then he lets his hand move of its own accord. The drawings emerge from a pure pool of imagination and movement.

Defending his position and his unusual style, he feels that – “…there should be freedom in the understanding of art. People give more importance to skill than creativity. Skill is important and so is the natural, child-like creativity. Craft is important for art, but art itself is beyond craft and is limitless. I feel that schools these days are suppressing this creative instinct in children.”

For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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