At first glance, Ankush Safaya’s works breathe stillness. But as the eye trains itself on the picture plane these flat surfaces become activated linear whispers that assume kinetic energies and suggest poetic missives of human experience. Safaya’s training as an engineer exposed technology to him in a way that made him engage with an abstract world, wherein circuit boards translated into Mondrian’s paintings, and jumbled wires became the palimpsest of a Jackson Pollock painted surface. His current practice is akin to echoes of hymns that would arise from an amplification of basic musical notes that in turn, create binaries of complexity in varied microscopic degrees in time. Safaya seeks to open up these nuanced spaces of discourse to the viewer, through a personal interplay of individual experiences that decode each work.
The triggers to his visual articulations include musical pieces of composers like Arvo Part and John Cage, the visuals of filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky and Akira Kurosawa, along with the metaphysical oeuvre of artist Nasreen Mohammedi. Each becomes a mental sounding board, with the unique potential to create infinite echoes that have inexplicable transmutations.
Safaya was born in 1985 in Hoshiarpur, Punjab and completed his studies in Engineering in 2007. He had a successful debut solo, ‘Anantata – Hymns of Graphical Notation’ at Sakshi Gallery in 2019 and was previously part of group exhibitions such as ‘Four Conversations in the Room’ at Sakshi Salon, Mumbai, curated by Rekha Rodwittiya; ‘The Sacred And The Profane,’ at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, ‘Five for the future’ at Nature Morte, Gurgaon. He was awarded the Glenfiddich Emerging Artist of the Year 2013 (runner-up). He presented at the Tie Conference 2019 at Santa Clara, California, on the invitation of the Motwani Jadeja Foundation, and also gave a masterclass to the fellows of the Rajeev Circle Program. He will be participating in the first Artist-in-residence program by the Motwani Jadeja Foundation in New York in August 2019.
Safaya currently resides and works at The Collective Studio, Baroda, hosted by Rekha Rodwittiya & Surendran Nair.