It is too late to turn away from the intrinsic narcissism of my profession. Those who write with the barely hidden conviction that someone else might actually read it is inarguably an act of narcissism. I have done so now for over three decades. It may not have been with great success but it is futile to turn around now. Narcissism is perpetual motion powered by itself.
Lately, one has added digital painting to one’s oeuvre. The word oeuvre itself should sum up the flaming narcissism of what I think I do. So I might as well continue on this path and prepare to face the consequences.
Yesterday, I wrote about how I had signed up with saatchionline.com to try and sell my digital artworks. The mere act of acceptance by Saatchi is no indicator at all of any merit in my works. Acceptance does not mean endorsement of any kind. The website’s business model is that they get a commission of a certain percentage if your creations sell. They are agnostic to the merit and quality or otherwise of what artists use their platform to sell. It is a virtual art gallery that makes real money.
In my defense, I have created every one of them with some measure of thought and labor. But that’s neither here nor there.
As an experiment I have uploaded nine works (Click the link in the illustration above). Also as an experiment, I have decided to review those myself since no critic whose brain is not rattling inside the skull would find it worth their while. Even if my review tears my works apart, it would still fundamentally remain an act of narcissism. So secure am I in my skin that I can castigate myself sort of narcissism. So here goes.:
By Mayank Chhaya
Not having any definable style is not in itself a bad thing. It can often underscore the sheer range of an artist. In Mayank Chhaya’s case though it merely speaks to a woeful sense of creative misdirection.
Looking at the nine pieces on display here gives you the feeling of looking at someone with the pretensions of being an artist compounded by his inability to choose a style. The overriding device of the nine pieces is the less than charming use of saturated colors to grab attention. The world has seen many style and form busting artists. Chhaya is not, should not, must not and ought not be one of them.
There is no technique here other than near pathological attention seeking. The best I can say about the works is that if you happen to walk past them at a gallery they have the power to draw you at once but then immediately assault you with their fractured form and random fusion of colors. It is more a tribute to the science of optics than Chhaya’s abilities. If you create adjoining blocks of deep purple/cobalt blue and neon green the way he does in ‘Purple Girl’, you are bound to attract attention because of the sheer optics of it. There is no real art or craftsmanship in that.
The motif of the nine works is bereft of any mystery whatsoever as they merely seek to tell the viewer, “Just buy me and make me some money.” I would have called Chhaya the Thomas Kinkade of the fake, angst-ridden pop art but that would be demeaning Kinkade’s basically sound craftsmanship. Chhaya has none.
I often wonder whether truly great painters of yore would have bothered to project their works the way dabblers like Chhaya do today. These days, those who do not even remotely qualify as artists are able to create a portfolio and propagate it across the world in a few seconds thanks to the Internet. Take Chhaya’s case, for instance. He does manage to put some lines and colors together.
The works are worthy of being displayed in the neon infested restroom of a cheap boutique hotel in Las Vegas.