Veteran artist Rameshwar Broota comes up with a remarkable photo exhibition

Hindu9Mar2011Veteran artist Rameshwar Broota explores the relationship between human beings and nature in his ongoing exhibition at Vadehra Art Gallery in Okhla Phase I here. The 69-year-old artist has tried to give every minute detail in his intricately textured pictures. Broota’s metamorphosis into a photographer is bound to be another lesson in art history for artists who study under him at the Triveni Kala Sangam. He has been Head of the Department at Triveni since 1967.

Titled “This End to The Other”, the exhibition that displays pictures taken over the past four years is on view up to March 31.

Open spaces
“The scale of the photographs is much different. The exhibition is far more earthy this time. There are far more open spaces and fewer objects. The emphasis is on details, just the way I have in my paintings,” says Broota, whose first photo exhibition was held four years ago.

Construction overdrive in his favourite State of Himachal Pradesh seems to have inspired some of his works. A top angle photograph of a mountainside in the hill State cluttered with houses is so fine in detailing that it appears almost like a miniature painting.

A completely different photograph titled “Where Does the Ganga Flow” of a chaotically developed Haridwar, taken once again as a top angle shot, shows his knack for capturing both the overt subject and the hidden story.

“It is not easy to enlarge a shot to show this kind of detailing where even the smallest crevice of a hillside, finest texture of a rock or the weathered door of a distant house can be seen in a long shot,” says Broota.

Broota shot a seven-foot-long untitled photograph of a dried up riverbed near Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. It is of a barren landscape. Devoid of any human element, what captures attention is the satire with which the artist captures a donkey and a tractor in the same picture, both isolated from the landscape they belong to.

Having started photography at an early age with a box camera, Broota has upgraded technology in both the camera he now uses and the computer that helps him create the required compositions.

Some of the most evocative photographs titled “What Lies Beneath” are tight close-ups of human hand and feet showing every line, crease and wrinkle adorned with just a drop of water and, in some cases, blood.

“This could be earth, an animal skin or even a rock,” he says of the graphical series of works which almost blur the line between what is human and what is not.

Article republished from The Hindu