At the recently concluded art exhibition “Rooster At Dawn” by artist Rajesh Baraiya, the canvasses on display were full of morning energy. Orange, yellow and the clearly streamlined patterns of the sun rays during dawn were used to mimic the strokes on the mounted pieces. The show, from February 26 to February 29, was organised at Ravishankar Raval Kala Bhavan in collaboration with Gujarat Lalit Kala Academy.
“The early morning sun is a promise anew. It dispels the darkness of the night and enlivens plants, animals and human beings to take life forward. Sounding the arrival of this newness is the rooster, which then becomes like a clarion call to life,” Baraiya explained the theme and title of his show.
One can discern the strong influence of Chinese strokes in his style. “Each stroke has a mean in Chinese typography. The three-dimensional forms convey entire sentences just in one unit of expression. I am deeply influenced by Oriental art and its symbolism,” shared the artist, who is also a faculty at Sheth C.N. College of Fine Arts.
Being part of several social organisations has led Baraiya to come in close contact with myriad experiences that would not have been part of life otherwise. “A struggle here or suffering there, achievement by someone or aspirations of a set group, all find space in my frame. I would like to think of my work as a multi-layered document of reality,” as he puts it.
Having started his journey as an illustrator, he is well-conversant with colours, lines and strokes. The initial years were spent sketching landscapes, dancers and portraits but with time, as he shares, “vibrant colours and bold strokes emerged my definitive style. Last year, I took to roosters which appear as metaphors of positivity and energy.”
To his credit, Baraiya’s works have been selected to represent Gujarat State Lalit Kala Akademi. Some artistic clicks by him also featured at the annual photography contest at National Lalit Kala Akademi.
“Group shows keep me going. For a solo showing as this one, I need to work well in advance. Art needs time and the best is captured only when I am moved by something I see or maybe experience,” clinches Baraiya.