RAGHAV BABBAR: LAYERS OF LIFE
The Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation is pleased to host “Raghav Babbar: Layers of Life“, a collection of works that invite contemplation, empathy, and a deeper appreciation for the ordinary moments that often go unnoticed in our daily lives. This exhibition, organized in collaboration with Zuecca Projects and supported by Nahmad Projects, marks the artist’s first solo presentation outside of London, England, where he currently works and resides. Deeply autobiographical, “Raghav Babbar: Layers of Life” is suffused with a tender melancholy for the artist’s motherland through his most recent body of works.
Born in Rohtak, India, in 1997, Babbar’s artistic journey seamlessly intertwines his Indian heritage with the painterly techniques reminiscent of mid-20th-century British art. His art transcends the boundaries of geographical origins and stylistic conventions, offering viewers an intimate and profound glimpse into the human experience through large-scale figurative paintings. Babbar distinguishes himself through his intensely personal and evocative painting technique. He meticulously builds up thick layers of oil paint on the canvas, building slowly the faces of his subjects. Caring for the physical properties of paint just as much as the composition of his art, Babbar sculpts with impasto, creating a rich and textural visual experience. The process is one that demands both time and dedication.
Drawing inspiration from friends, family, and the individuals who form the fabric of India’s diverse society, Babbar renders their emotional depths with sensitivity, pride, and empathy. The artist finds inspiration in the simplicity of everyday life, showcasing the profound beauty inherent to ordinary moments by rendering them larger-than-life and grandiose. His subjects, often depicted in their solitary moments, allow their genuine emotions to shine through. “I am mostly interested in the emotional side and human expressions,” Babbar explains. “The strongest expressions, even the simplest ones, hold the key to understanding and celebrating the true essence of the characters I portray.”
Central to Babbar’s work is the interplay of light and shadow, a core element in recreating the atmosphere of his homeland. He distinctively employs daylight settings to infuse depth and drama into his landscapes. Through the careful manipulation of light, plays of raking sunlight and stark shadows, Babbar transports viewers into intimate and contemplative worlds, where the commonplace takes on extraordinary significance.
“Raghav Babbar: Layers of Life” is not only an exploration of art but also a bridge between cultures, speaking to the universal language of human emotions. It’s a quiet celebration of life’s simplicity, the emotions that pulse through everyday moments, and the rich tapestry of human existence. Babbar’s work invites us to explore the beauty that often eludes our perception in the hustle and bustle of contemporary life.
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RAGHAV BABBAR: LAYERS OF LIFE
1st December 2023 – 28th January 2024
Wednesday-Sunday, 11 AM to 6 PM
Bevilacqua La Masa – Galleria di Piazza San Marco
San Marco 71/c, Venezia