Indian artist Ketan Kelkar’s probing artworks evoke the peace and tranquility accompanied by spiritual growth and discovery. Working in predominantly oil on canvas, the artist’s compositions are uncomplicated; nonetheless, his works are reminiscent of the Surrealist movement and, at times, venture into abstraction. In works such as Mistaken Identity (2017), a charcoal background envelops an image of a lustrous gold rope with each opposite end frayed and discolored. The rope is almost serpentine in nature as its smooth curves writhe across the diagonal registers of the composition. Perhaps Kelkar’s rope has mistaken its own identity for a serpent? Nevertheless, works such as these are at once symbolic, playful, and incisive.
Kelkar gleans the majority of his inspiration from perpetual studies of the Bhagavad Gita. He began painting in order to more poignantly illustrate the concepts of the Gita to his students, from which his career blossomed. The artist explains: “My art comes from my spiritual growth. Visually, it is simple and straightforward…but the message is of the highest order. I hope that the concepts I paint may instill a feeling of tranquility, like the one Goal of Life.” The artist currently resides in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.