Widely recognised for his small-scale works on paper which have been collaged using imagery sourced from popular newspapers and magazines, C.K. Rajan responds to a visual world which seems to have become unreadable. Produced between 1992 and 96, these collages capture in an allegorical fashion something of the speed, the speculation and the human collateral of the economic development process. Not simply in the form of a polemic, but rather by exaggerating its side effects in the popular media and scrambling them into a set of surreal tableaux.
The title for another sequence of works from this period ‘In Search of Utopia’ painted onto the back of cigarette packets, could equally be said to spring from similar aspirations. However, the imagery, which represents the human figure in relation to a vast totalitarian architecture starkly delineated by light and shade, seems to come more from the hand of some mad urban planner. Nevertheless, the pathos of the medium (visions rendered on the back of cigarette packets) situate these works at street level and they perform a subversive gesture, a feral one – a gesture that produces an inspired narrative concerning the human ability to fabricate the future from out of almost anything which comes to hand.
Born 1960 in Kerala, India
Studied Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University,Baroda
MA (Painting), University of Hyderabad
Lives in Hyderabad
Kashi Art Cafe, Kochi, Kerala