Born in Karnataka in southwest India, Mahesh Baliga's intricate works depict scenes from daily life, with a focus on overlooked moments, specifically memories and moments of personal loss.Read More
Baliga received a BFA from the Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, University of Mysore, Karnataka, before achieving a postgraduate diploma in painting from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara in 2007.
Mahesh Baliga's vignettes—or as the artist calls them, 'lap-sized' paintings—documents the intricacies of life in his native country. Presenting the world as he witnesses it, Baliga presents the individuals in his paintings carrying out the simple acts of human life, as seen in Aveek cutting nails (2022). He also depicts Indian visual traditions, as seen in Diwali light (2022).
Working between the real and imagined, Baliga uses casein tempera to achieve a stillness that hints at themes of memory and the overlooked corners of his life.
Spotlighting the artist at India Art Fair, Ocula Advisory explained, 'Synthesising Post-Impressionist palettes with the detail achieved in Persian miniature painting, Beliga's casein tempera works seamlessly marry Western and Eastern visuals.'
In 2022, David Zwirner was host to Baliga's debut exhibition outside of India. Drawn to remember, at the gallery's London location, presented a series of Baliga's vignettes capturing life in western India.
In these paintings, layers of casein tempera illuminate subtle details, such as the ink-stained shirt pocket in Poet with ink on his pocket (2022).
In explaining his arrival at these small compositions, Baliga notes in his artist statement for the exhibition, 'There is always a negotiation between the act of making and what I feel. The small scale gives both the artist and the viewer a sense of intimacy ... it creates a kind of nearness to the things that are distant.'
Mahesh Baliga's solo and group exhibitions include Lokame Tharavadu (The World Is One Family), Kochi Biennale Foundation, Kerala (2021); It's a Normal Day, Project 88, Mumbai (2020); E STRAY, Baekgong Museum, Gangwon-do (2017); and Len Den, Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai (2015), among others.
Mahesh Baliga's Instagram can be found here.
Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2022