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Indepth Arts News:

"Riyas Komu"
2007-12-18 until 2008-01-02
Guild Art Gallery
Mumbai, , IN India

he Guild Art Gallery is delighted to present the recent works of Riyas Komu . Born in Kerala in 1971, Komu received his B.F.A and M.F.A from Sir J.J. School Of Art with painting as his specialization. In 1992 he came to Mumbai - a city which was always about 'dreams', about 'making it big and the surrounding static of media outpourings became a fecund source of inspiration. In his artistic journey he has included sculpture, photography and video- installations to the wide spectrum of his works.

Komu is not your typical brush-and-camera wielding intellectual. It is truly admirable that someone in his thirties can achieve this kind of wise maturity, an acceptance of the world without denying its cruelties and doomed nature, an attitude usually possible for much older artists. Like himself his works are quite down-to-earth. Komu says that his work draws from the public domain. There is also a desire to veer the focus onto the common man, the individual, and his / her plight. Neo-realism is the term with which he likes to use to describe his own works.

For Riyas, art is a medium for social comment on the situations the world is facing today. This outlook comes for the artist because of his passion of making documentary films." The documentaries I make are an extension of my feelings and views, and they have similar themes toughing life's many facets", says Riyas. What sets him apart, and makes his work worth viewing is the artist's unconditional desire to stay true to his vision, despite having chosen to live and work in a city that pays little heed to ideals of any kind.

In 2005, his photographs titled "Grass" were exhibited at The Guild, where he temporarily shelved his experiments with painting and sculpture and explored his interest in portraiture through photography. The images deliberately had a grey tone. Interestingly, the exhibit fitted into the context of Komu's photo-realist paintings, as he has always been interested in portraiture for its ability to be manipulated for socio-political protest. In these images, he used the inherent properties of digital technology to achieve the digital, the effect he's looking for. His works are full of emotion and silence; it is through both that the artist moves you. Being with Riyas Komu's on his artistic journey's one can understand that the overused word catharsis still has validity.

Komu's art verily belongs to Mumbai of today and yet proves universal. One could place his focus on the contemporary human condition, his reliance on largely realistic imagery along with an evocative and significance-bearing abstraction.

Solo Exhibitions: 2006: Systematic Citizen, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi.2006: Faith Accompli , Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai.2005: The Third Day , Lalit Kala Academy, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi presented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai. 2005: Grass, photography show, The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai. 2003: Sarasu, photography show on Raja Ravi Verma Press, The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai. 2002: UNCONDITIONAL, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai 2002 - 2003: AMBULANCE, Renaissance Art Gallery, Bangalore.

Selected Group Exhibitions 2007: Milan Museum show, curated by Daniella Polizolli. Frame/ Grid/ Room/Cell, curated by Gayatri Sinha, Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai. Group show at the Swarovski M useum. Mumbai Metronomes, Mumbai. 52 International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale. Art Amsterdam 'Other' inaugural show AICON Gallery, London. 2006: 'Bronze', sculpture show, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi Art on the Beach, Made by Indians, St Tropez by Gallery Enrico Navarra, Paris On Difference #2 (represented Korea), Wurtt. Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany.

Riyas Komu lives and works in Mumbai.

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