In large-scale oil paintings, Jyothi Basu wills into being a universe of his own making: hallucinatory and timeless yet grounded in astute observations of the world in which we live. Like an animated cartoon that brings together cavemen and astronauts, his art playfully synthesizes profound conflagrations, sees delight inextricably bound to terror.Read More
The space of Jyothi Basu's paintings is both cosmic in scale and inside the body, inter-galactic and sub-atomic at the same time. The landscapes depict inter-connected systems that carry both energy and information, circulatory and neurological paths, multiple flows of both light and matter moving in numerous directions, an interface of technology with biology, the genetic coding of solar systems. The landscapes seen from an omnipotent viewpoint evoke cosmological diagrams, inferring a theological program, while the artist's fluorescent colors ape the special effects one expects to find in a B-grade science fiction film.
More recently, Jyothi Basu's paintings have accomplished a secondary collapsing of poles. His art has always been deeply influenced by his home state of Kerala, with its dense palm tree jungles and aquatic horizons where back-water canals meet the sea. After a few years of living in the megalopolis of Mumbai, Jyothi Basu has imbibed the language of forms and patterns of chaos endemic to the city to come up with yet another synthesis of opposites, now the urban and the rural. Both are grist for his mill that pictures vegetation as an electronic grid, roadways as jungle vines, trees as concrete towers, and night skies as syncopated lighting.
Jyothi Basu's other-worldly landscapes are built of architectonic ciphers that mimic the forms of both nature (plants, animals, spores) and culture (writing, figuration, decoration). The things that most closely resemble buildings accommodate multiple pedigrees: Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian. His planet is composed of a linguistic superstructure (signs, symbols, letters and icons) that pulses with meaning and life.