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Bharat Dalal, born in India in 1955 was a genius who had transcended all the limitations to which human nature is prone. Inherently, his multisensory nature of the activities and mastery over many areas like Paintings, Engineering, Music, Architecture, and Philosophy incorporated three distinct types of experiences in his artistic profile such as the Semantic – the internal process that translates a word into a series of visual characteristics, Physical – the planned movement of the hands during his drawing/painting, and Visual – watching the images appear on the canvas.
Bharat Dalal created the positive attributes of the subject, depicted the idealized appearances of the characters, and portrayed the physically perfect images resulting from his knowledge, perception, intuition, philosophy, ambition, and artistic skills to draw the paintings. These various skills and dexterity over many areas were likely linked in some way inside his mind; to retrieve one small detail or component helped to reconstruct the full representation of memory and participation in collective histories and spurred his visions perfectly to draw the series of the paintings.
Bharat Dalal’s journey in the exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s works banks on deep-seated learning is not just the art of the Renaissance period but also the philosophy and the meticulous logic of understanding that the universe is indeed connected in multifarious ways to the human imagination. Leonardo Da Vinci is widely considered as one of the most diversely talented individuals- the “Renaissance master” without any formal training but with feverishly inventive imagination and unquenchable curiosity.
Bharat Dalal’s artistic and scientific studies, guided by his conviction, his knowledge gained through observation, intuition, and vision through the deeper analysis of his psychological, philosophical, and spiritual characteristics, had reincarnated Leonardo Da Vinci in the Twentieth Century.
His jottings in his diaries move from science to art to cosmic connotations. When he gets deep into terms like metamorphosis and relativity, you understand that he had a deeply spiritual insignia. He had an inner eye that was seasoned and understood cosmic nuances. And we are reminded of the early Jain manuscript illustrations. India boasts of an extensive Jain tradition of paintings, from album-size to monumental paintings on cloth. The most spectacular of these is the cosmological paintings depicting the structure of the Jain universe. Bharat had a deep understanding of this, that is why many of his notes have phrases and sentences that are cryptic.
The psychology and psychoanalysis of Bharat Dalal’s paintings associated the notion of the unconscious as an archive for thoughts and feelings that are generally unavailable to consciousness. What lies buried in the unconscious minds are highly powerful and instinctual drives, repressed by civilization and rationality, which if handled inappropriately are detrimental to the mental health of the individual, and ultimately that of society. The unconscious thoughts and desires at the heart of the dreams transformed their initial content into metaphors by the mechanisms of evaporation and condensation.
This metamorphism of his psychological tendencies merging with his philosophical nature was a spiritual, active, and empirical metamorphosis to correlate the dynamic changes of the soul with the dynamic changes of the body in a coherent manner. The coherence of the soul and the body was symbiotically generated because of his spiritual inclination, the emotions, and experience gained through his active participation in the family bonding represented by the medium of art and the series of six paintings, “The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci”, an enormous time-consuming project that he completed in five years from 1982-1987.
In the paintings of this series, the Realistic, the Expressionist, and the Abstract emerge with a meaningful interplay of textures ranging from the utterly smooth to the coarse and selective Three Dimensionality which makes the required segments of the painting leap out of the canvas. The comprehensive approaches result in the rendering of the nuances which facilitate the artist in communicating, the infinitely complex intent of Leonardo Da Vinci. Apart from this, the artist creates a superimposition of images, which, within the Realistic and Expressionistic modes of Artistic Expressionism, helps in establishing a Tangibility of the Abstract and conversely intangibility to the Realistic (as understood in the Normal Sense) and thus offers an Idiom of Artistic Expression for redefining the Realistic. It also helps in blurring what needs to be blurred, and expresses an extraordinary depth of knowledge, perception, and logic wherever required.
The artist believes in the notion that the void leads to the origin of darkness. And that void is basically the absence of light, whereas light is not created by the absence of darkness. This is a kind of metaphorical belief in the supreme he tries to build upon with total perfection, nothing less, and God is perhaps nothing less. He is not responsible for anyone’s virtuous deeds or sinful actions. God is the Creator, within himself, not without. God is Pure Nature, not Impure Manifestations. The human being stands by himself and constantly looks at the Creator in his Divinity. That constant watch transforms him into the Divine Creator itself. This journey completely transformed the way the artist perceived the Implausibility and Negativity that laid within his soul, as he came to experience that there is a soul and it is Imperishable and Eternal. This entire episode or an encounter with reality resulted in the manifestation of the artist’s thoughts and experience onto the canvas.
Bharat Dalal was certainly a renaissance man, a product of the extraordinary concatenation of philosophical, scientific, artistic, and spiritualistic knowledge gathered over the last many centuries and infused by contemporary humanists, taking consideration of the high Renaissance period and a very complex artistic style to express on the blank canvas. The ultimate quality of his finest works, the classic balance, the abstract abundance, the evanescent expression, and the marbleized technique create mystical pathways, almost imparting a sense of the cosmos and higher consciousness. His manuscripts and philosophical writings about the series of these paintings heralded his characteristic rhythmic lines, reconfigured the sacred thread between the spiritual and the mundane, and conceived the threads of continuity, of dimensions of mind, body, and spirit inherent in explorations and creativity. Bharat Dalal’s works are ultimately a celebration of the larger consciousness of being, with art as the connective thread.
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