The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius- Rebecca Pepper Sinkler.
This quote from my previous post has remained with me. Whenever I look at this painting by Rahul Mukherjee, ”To Be Or Not To Be” I go back to my childhood. A Fox running away from sour grapes, a young child flying the kite (an activity enjoyed by all of us), Gandhiji preaching ahimsa lessons and acrobats doing stunts in the air mesmerizing us.
But like any adult, I too, draw interpretations from these characters. The fox and sour grapes represent the aspirations, which are not achieved. The child flying a kite is aiming to reach the sky. Gandhiji is symbolizing all moral values we learnt while growing up but his shadow represents the confusion caused by the gradual changes in social values. In my opinion, the acrobats are the thoughts rushing to our minds.
Mukherjee’s paintings represent the conflicts in an individual’s life or in a society. It may be the difference in values of a child and an adult or the conflict in the values of real life and ideal life. All his paintings depict a young boy, representing the thought process of a young Mukherjee, who does not understand the startling hypocrisy of mankind.
To Be Or Not To Be
All of Rahul Mukherjee’s works, acrylic or watercolor have another prominent character, “shadow”, which redefines the concept of science through his own medium. The shadows in his paintings don’t follow the laws of light. According to Mukherjee, they are the psychological mirror of an individual. There is no confinement of the expressions for an artist!
It happens to all of us at a time in life when we cannot identify with the opportunist value system of our surroundings and wish to go back to unfussy and innocent childhood again. I wish the idea of time machine takes shape someday in real.
As a faculty member at fine arts faculty at M.S.University(Vadodara), he is playing the role of a guru in true sense by starting HUB- a platform for budding artists.