Migrants
Thoughts from the Studio

In the past few months we have all responded with horror and grave concern to the images in the media of migrant families trudging back to their villages. Watching them from the comfort of our own homes has been conscience pricking as most of us have been able do little for them. As an artist I ceded to a need to paint their images, knowing full well that I will inevitably aestheticise the image. The aesthetic impulse is a positive force, but if it masks reality and merely makes it palatable, then it becomes a problem. To guard against this one must be able to give the subject a presence and a voice and hope that the image will then carry some of the redemptive power of the aesthetic. It is a humble recognition of other lives.

'Stranded', Oil on canvas, 12" x 9", 2020

'Leaving the City', Oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2020

'Going Back', Oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2020

Sudhir Patwardhan
June 2020

This is part of a series called ‘Thoughts from the Studio’ initiated by the Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi. Published here in collaboration with the gallery.

A practicing radiologist and a self-taught artist, Sudhir Patwardhan, in his career as an artist, has held more than fifteen solo exhibitions in all major galleries, including the Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi (2017). He has also participated in several international exhibitions including the Aspects of Modem Indian Art, Oxford, UK, 1982; and Coupe de Coeur, Geneva, 1987. His paintings are included in many public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; and the Herwitz Family Collection, USA. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.