Balancing rather precariously between western sensibilities and eastern narratives, the works of Vinod Balak are transformative both visually and spiritually.
Vinod Balak, The Circumambulation, 2019, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 243.8 cm / 48 x 96 in
‘Vinod’s heightened sense of colour underscores the freedom and feeling of euphoria in these paintings. Not hesitating to cite religion as an inspiration, nor shying away from critiquing the ideology of faith, Vinod Balak’s “Tomorrow’s Land” explores a collective contemporary subconscious, through a poetic register.’ The surreal and vivid landscapes of Vinod’s works are quite likened to that of Heironymous Bosch, who would often use the blanket of foliage to pepper his imagery and narrative with a touch of mysterious madness. The same is imbibed from the works as we are subject to an ethereal world that has no beginning or end; that simply floats in the spaces between the spaces.
Installation View III, Vinod Balak ‘Tomorrow’s Land’ at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, 2020
Culturally informing us of his background, the artist seems to shift our attentions ever so slightly with every motif and added symbol, making us wonder whether the work is meant to be a cryptic riddle, or the philosophical renderings of an artistic genius. It could even be both, as we merely become hapless travellers trapped within the narrative, the space and the layered meaning of the artworks.
Vinod Balak, The Tower of Euphoria, 2019, oil on canvas, 170 x 214.6 cm / 68 x 84.5 in
The images need a trained eye to examine the loaded details that it carries, because the artist is subjecting us to not only his version of history – but a newer one that carries its own language. We are not bereft of meaning, but guided to make new ones through the placement of the images and the nether world like landscape. Whether it is a universe that we are yet to encounter, or a scene of a dream that we once dreamt –‘ It is impossible to miss the absurdity embedded within these panoramas — nude figures playing football or jogging, saints playing jazz, winged figures listening to a band. Add to that, an abundance of minutely detailed motifs — airplanes made of chicken coups, advertising billboards, a statue of Mother Mary atop a tower, cowsheds with worshippers, a whale, a unicorn, an image of Lord Krishna.’
Tomorrow’s Land on view at 10th January 2020 – 3rd March 2020, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinnrucke, Mumbai