Portraying a dry and dying planet, Ritesh Yadav’s art of smoke and fire

By Kedar Mishra

He says his art is all about sarcasm, but for me his art is a warning, a terrifying signal for humanity’s future. His fractured lines and unusual curves grey and faded black shadows and above all his imagination about the future of human existence makes you speechless. You can see the metamorphosis of a blue lively water body into a cracked-dry patch of land, absolutely lifeless but signifying an anti romantic aesthetic of our time. He shows us an oversize eyelid, surrounded by needling wounds. That wounded and perennially burnt eyelid talks about the bleeding eyes of Delhi. The suffering and suffocating city of Delhi. There also one can see the skeleton of a dying river. All painted, not in color but by fire and smoke.

Ritesh Yadav, a young and talented painter from New Delhi, who was working in the Utsha Foundation, Bhubaneshwar, an art institute founded by celebrated painter Jagannath Panda , as a resident artiste showcased half a dozen of his art works, produced during his stay here in Bhubaneshwar. I am really provoked and intoxicated by his forms. Though his ideas are a bit usual and thinking not out of box, but his form and his medium are extremely exciting. The random lines, cracks, holes, patches and shadows are so natural in their exposure and tellingly silent.

Now time has come where art is to be more about life and less about ideas. We have explored a whole range of ideological and conceptual sky for last one and half centuries in paintings. Now, let’s talk about life as straight as possible. In his plain speaking, Ritesh invents his own aesthetics. From a dying planet he draws his inspiration and painted a warning for  us to be more aware of our own bleak future.