2021 - ALCHEMY
This series ‘Alchemy’ is at a certain level autobiographical about how thoughts are affected and processed. Mirror to the self and society becomes a transformative process (alchemy) to deduces Existential philosophical narrations. ‘Alchemy’ has been characterized by Ratnadeep’s deep engagement with the monochrome, extending aesthetics to explore its behaviors and implications on objects in both two and three-dimensional space emerging from position of self. ‘Alchemy’ departs from Ratnadeep’s usual diptych mode to the images have that have duality but are singular.
Existential query rooted in the human experience of anguish stemming from the apparent meaninglessness of a world in which humans are compelled to find or create meaning. We are faced with two realities - One is of common knowledge (people perspectives) and other one is your personal reality. Ratnadeep questions, “WHEN ARE YOU FROM...” so the markers in timeline become alchemic incidents in shaping what you are. These are like mirrors…where you see yourself… From the standpoint of the mirror one discovers his absence from the place and also to reconstitute the self in a different space. The mirror functions as a space, a 'placeless place' in this respect: it makes a place absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to pass through this virtual point which is over there. For an artist with polarized identity who is based in 3 different cities (Mumbai, Berlin & Dubai) the transitional values to self-discovery through spaces is definitive. Between the conceptions of “leaving home” and “homesickness”, Ratnadeep opens up an ambiguous space that summons at once the idea of foreign land and home, separation and connection and root not only with space but also self.
2017 - 8 STORIES
The stories in Ratnadeep’s paintings arise not from the interplay of the elements, but from the conceptual logic, which irresistibly draws the viewer into a cosmos in which he recognises himself again. The images that fascinate and enthral us are not an end in itself. These stories exist as a reflection on the inner walls of the mind, or as a projection of the inner state without. He marvels at what the story has produced. He marvels as a child marvels, but at the same time he condenses this wonderment in a highly complex structure of associations. The eight painted stories are part of a comprehensive vision of emergence and evanescence. They are occurrences that are transcended in a concept of transition, at once keen and congruent. Removing all cues, from the outside, the voices of the inner state become louder, clearer.
The Artist through his experience is conditioned by all that he assimilates he wilfully strives to invent new juxtapositions, to pose fresh arrangements that stir us to wonder and delight. In the eight stories this is particularly so, since it is not the forms that are new but what is done with them. The complicity of the stories involved turns the work all the more upon itself. The artist suggests new possibilities and through the presentation of the unreal creates a new reality. We contemplate this visual world as we do a new story, for it leads us beyond our circumscribed horizons. Each story introduces us to a private world which is quite realised, which has its own boundaries, its own characters, and its own terms. Further these paintings stimulate our interest; we not only enjoy them visually, but also because they are points of departure into the unknown; these paintings owe nothing to others, they are self-sufficient cameos, nourished within and externalised in self-created visual idioms.
(Excerpt from 8 STORIES Catalogue Essay titled 'Images Tell Lies: Paradox of 8 stories', 2017)
2016 - PARALLAX VIEWS
Ratnadeep's show titled "Parallax Views", based on visual and philosophical interpretation of concept of Parallax, a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight. The works give socio-cultural perspective drawing references from juxtaposition of the history of art, politics, science and philosophy yet each has no overbearing presence. The two halves of Ratnadeep's works are across from each other in direct conversation, sometimes not visually similar, but conceptually related. Each piece remarks on an altered view, as the definition of the exhibition title “Parallax Views” suggests. The works subliminally remarks on Ratnadeep's polarized identity as an artist living between Mumbai and Berlin. Drawing visual references from both cultures, Ratnadeep comprises these works that together create a dialog with the unknown. The perspective in many of images chosen by Ratnadeep is drawn from an elevated vantage point. This position enables the viewer to encounter scenes, encompassing both centre and periphery, which are ordinarily beyond reach. Resonating the three states, the mirrored reflection, changing imagery and perception.
(Excerpt from Press Note)
2013 - THE GOLDEN EAR
Ratnadeep’s "The Golden Ear" is based on German Composer Richard Wagner and mainly his epic opera "Der ring of Nibelung" (Ring of Nibelungs). The work revolves around Ratnadeep's philosophical interpretation with connection to especially to Indian-global mythological context with contemporary times. Wagner's magnified opera written in 1874, The Ring, is based on Germanic mythology, presents many opportunities for visual spectacle with the Mermaids, the winged horses, giants and Dragon, magic flames, and massive sets. Ratnadeep, who is a viewer in this case, reads this opera from his own socio-cultural perspective drawing references from Indian culture, history, politics and Ancient Indian Philosophies. In a unique combination of large scale paintings complete with codes and references about love, greed and every other human and social subject, Ratnadeep re–tells the stories of this mythical adventure and Karma. Ratnadeep’s research included attending the Operas and his frequent interactions with Wagnerians, countless commentaries and transcriptions from books on the subject led to this project. This juxtaposition of the Opera and Art has been made in close collaboration with the artist in order to draw out relationships that exist between his works to emphasis particularly search of parallels between Wagner's opera The Ring and Mahabharata. The cross culture mix to extent that it is a step to transferring the pictorial sensuality of artist's native experiences of Konkan's popular dance -ritual -drama 'Dashavtar' into a dimension in which bodily sensation is directly addressed in spatial terms.
2013 - INFINITE RANGE OF RESPONSE TO TIME
Visual Consequences of Encounters, defining the subject matter while urging the viewer to consider the meaning of complex perceptions. Reality exists. Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories. Whether they are the stories of individual lives or of society as a whole, important stories are often illustrated with photographs, which give the imprimatur of authenticity. Photo images can distort memory. So does the unconscious system of metaphors that we use without awareness to comprehend reality. What metaphor does is limit what we notice, highlight what we do see, and provide part of the inferential structure that we reason with. Because of the pervasiveness of metaphor in thought, we cannot always stick to discussions of reality in purely literal terms.
Ratnadeep draws on different references precisely because my interest lies in history, concept of myth and in expanded spirituality. With the passage of time a photo image loses its specificity to become a purely aesthetic object, open to multiple readings. Every part seems perpetually about to become something else, nothing can be taken for granted, and the notion of certainty falls apart.
Infinite Range of Responses to Time is a two parallel exploration into Probability of reality that is time and existence through the range of contradictory responses.
2011 - DISCOURSES OF PRISMATIC TRUTHS
Through Prismatic Truth the spectator is subjected to a whole variety of discourses and codes whose aim is to re-contextualize and re-function the artefacts of our consumer culture which ask to be considered as critiques of the time and place in which we live. For many contemporaries, art’s points of reference are still the self reflexive languages and forms of art itself and/or the depredations of the increasingly complex culture. It is still possible that Ratnadeep's work could be understood as another attempt to supply art with a sense of authenticity and relevance - an attempt that might itself be reactionary with aura and authenticity attesting only to the historical decay of these qualities. Ratnadeep desires to see everything at once is apparent in many of his paintings, perhaps most overtly in the overlay of one image on top of others, as if it were possible not just to see through a particular image but to hold them both in a sort of suspension. In these superimposed, suspended and translucent images the structure of narratives is overt. Each of the images is both there and not-there, as the eye is drawn from one to the other.
2010 - ALLEGORIES OF TALKING ROADS
POETRY OF IMAGES: Through it all a literary streak is at work, defining the subject matter while urging the viewer to consider the meaning of complex perceptions. Reality exists. So does the unconscious system of metaphors that we use without awareness to comprehend reality. What metaphor does is limit what we notice, highlight what we do see, and provide part of the inferential structure that we reason with. Because of the pervasiveness of metaphor in thought, we cannot always stick to discussions of reality in purely literal terms.
Ratnadeep draws on different references precisely because his interest lies in history, concept of myth and in expanded spirituality. Every part seems perpetually about to become something else, nothing can be taken for granted, and the notion of certainty falls apart.
2009 - PROVERBIAL IN(TER)VENTIONS
Living in Mumbai a metropolis, a melting pot where the world's great religions are practiced brings along its own cultural baggage but wisdom is one familiar occurrence which cuts across these several practices. Much new knowledge is admittedly remote from the immediate interests of the commonplace man on the street. The void of these academics is completed by one liner wisdoms or proverbs. The universality and philosophies in these proverbs was what got Ratnadeep interested. Proverbs embrace the wide sphere of human existence: the philosophical antiquary may often discover how many a proverb commemorates an event which has escaped from the more solemn monuments of history, and is often the solitary authority of its existence.
The proverbs in the exhibition are accompanied by a string of qualifiers – ifs, ands, buts, and on other hands. Yet to enter every appropriate qualification in an exhibition of this kind would be to bury the viewer under an avalanche of maybes. Rather than do this, the artist has taken liberty of expression trusting that the intelligent viewer will understand the stylistic problem. The proverbs applied to the works need to be taken with a grain of judgment. Consciousness without word is comparable to light without illumination. Since word refers to something beyond itself and is thus by its constitution relational, all knowledge is therefore relational and determinate.
2004 - REFRACTION OF IDEAS
Ratnadeep ’s work has consistently investigated the terrain of collective visual culture. His paintings ask questions about the meaning of being an artist in a world bombarded with images, and explore the relationship between different kinds of imagery. Since the early years he has juxtaposed images from very different sources, such as scientific diagrams, old masters paintings, magazine advertising, cartoons and the icons of art history. These works challenge the traditional hierarchy of imagery, and confront the fact that in today’s world no image is sacred: everything is subject to instant reproduction and dissemination all over the world. These paintings are derivation from Rene Magritte, Belgian Surrealist Painter works. Magritte created inverse worlds, through the looking glass in search of hybrid forms, objects of absurd scale, and distortions of the laws of time and space. He revealed in making the banal appear strange, tearing objects from their usual contexts and transplanting them into utterly incongruous spaces or the pause or caesura between seeing and knowing, which is the mystery of painting and of appearance in painting.
Magritte's own statements - whether the objects brought together are the same or different, whether their metaphoric spark arises because it reveals a hidden affinity or a secret opposition. For this would require some outside measure or standard against which to compare them, which is precisely what we lack there. But this would also mean that, if we cannot say what third thing those other two resemble, we cannot say what either is before this comparison. For it is only through its comparison with another that we can say what any object is or means.