K. P. Reji
  just above my head
  15th Nov. -  12th Dec., 2006


The Guild had first introduced K. P. Rejis works to the art audiences in the year 2000 along with two other artists. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist in Mumbai.

A large number of paintings Reji has been doing for last few couple of years are based on the thematic of love (all of them had broadly titled, as ‘Love Paintings’) would attain a different dynamics in this present exhibition. One can easily recognise the resonance of his earlier thematic in the presented works as well, even though the concerns of his works might have been attained much more complexities.  

According to Santhosh. S -an art critic from M.S.U. Baroda - who wrote the catalogue essay for the present exhibition; one of the significant facet in K. P. Reji’s work “is the intimate way in which his work integrates aspects of the personal and the social by liberating meanings through dissociating and relocating them from their commonsensical association. This intimate assemblage of personal and social worlds is one of the most important linguistic devices and tactics that enable his works to cross thresholds of presentational politics. He further elaborate the political dimension of Reji’s works trough these observations : “His works are neither a eulogy of the sufferings of the working class nor a tale of their heroic deeds; instead they attempt to problematize these representational polemics by presenting them as the “being’ in the process of ‘becoming’. In most of his works all the figures simultaneously engage with multiple events of everyday life. For instance in the painting Chicken Shop, there are two figures who are engaged in the act of cutting the neck of a chicken (an act of killing) at the same time affectionately gazing into each other’s eyes (an act of creation/living). If you look closely, the very act of violence (slaughter) evokes another act – that of eroticism. The slaughtering and its erotic connotations also suggest the aspects of (social) castration. These multiple layers of acts are not represented as a contradictory act of the players of the event or as a poetic metaphor that represents internal dilemmas of the characters. On the contrary, this apparent contradiction is presented as the ability of the subjects to transfer their occupational identities (that is the being-ness) into a process of becoming”.   

A particular aspect of the current works is the role that architecture plays in these works – Santhosh further elaborates, “Most of his (Rejis) architectural monuments epitomize the wasteland of developmental politics. These architectural clusters are certainly planned but they are not decided or chosen by their occupants. Rather, they are constructed with a view to order so as to entrench a disciplinary structure. They are also deeply innovative because they are complex assemblages of otherwise inassimilable objects that are discarded (they are the producer and the product of wastelands). This displacement of ‘natural’ associations has pushed the keywords of architectural discourses such as order, harmony, planning, ornament, monument etc. into the larger arena of cultural criticism.”

This exhibition certainly would problematise our normal notion of seeing by throwing light on various aspects of every day life and practices.

Reji has completed both his graduation and post graduation in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. U. Vadodara in the year 2000. He has participated in many significant exhibitions – ‘Generation I’ jointly by The Guild and Saffronart, Are We Like This Only at Vadehra Art Gallery . Words and Images by the Guild held at National Gallery of Modern Art Mumbai in 2002, Double Enders a travelling Exhibition curated by Bose Krishnamachari.  And his works are in the collection of National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. 


© 2002 The Guild | All rights reserved

Find us on