02 Apr

Standing before a painting and feeling as though it transcends life itself is a rare occurrence for me. However, during my recent visit to Kochi, I was lucky enough to experience such emotions. The city exudes an artistic energy, and it came as no surprise to learn that the famous Art Biennale was taking place there. 

While participating in a tree-planting event, I came across a mesmerizing mural adjacent to an open field being used as a sports ground. The intensity of the mural was awe-inspiring, and its image lingered in my mind long after I left. The technical ability of the artist was remarkable, and I couldn't help but be impressed. In the days that followed, I discovered two more murals by the same artist, and I was thrilled to learn that they were the creations of Parag Sonarghare, produced around 2018 in the area of Palace road. Later, I attended an Art Bienalle exhibition showcasing "young" artists, where I was captivated by an exceptional depiction of a foot. The artist had enlarged the foot to larger-than-life proportions, and their use of techniques resembling photographic realism was impressive. However, it was clear that this was no ordinary digital copy; the artist had infused their soul into the piece, and it was genuinely a work of art. And who was the mastermind behind this creation? Parag Sonarghare himself! 

I was thrilled to have discovered the artist behind these remarkable pieces. However, it was disheartening to see some of his Kochi's murals being neglected and deteriorating amidst heaps of garbage. It saddened me to witness such stunning artwork being treated carelessly. I urge the Kochi community to appreciate the value of these murals and take measures to protect and preserve them.

 Parag's work is a precious gem that deserves to be cherished and safeguarded. 

Artist Bio: (https://gallerymaskara.com/artist/parag-sonarghare/biography Parag Sonarghare was born in Nagpur, India, in 1987 and holds an M.V.A. (Art History and Aesthetics) passed in 2010 from M.S. University, Baroda, India. Parag completed his B.F.A. (Painting) in 2008 from Govt. Chitrakala Mahavidyalaya Nagpur University, Nagpur (Maharashtra) India. He has used the body both in performance and in painting. Selected performances include Being the Other, KHOJ International Artist Association, Delhi, AHAMBRAHMASMI at various locations including Delhi, Nagpur, and Baroda. He has participated in various group exhibitions, including Rethinking the Regional, Curated by Manisha Patil, NGMA, Mumbai, Indian Contemporary Art, space 1858, Chicago, USA, PARADIGMS & PERSPECTIVE, Indigo blue art gallery, Singapore, amongst others. In 2016, Parag was part of two group shows titled TIME and Portraits of the Self at Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, India. He was also part of Asia Contemporary Art Exhibition, Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Korea, and The Young Subcontinent, Serendipity Arts, Goa. In 2018, he was part of the Pepper House residency in conjunction with Kochi Muziris Biennale. In 2019, he was in residence at the Kunstdepot Foundation, Goschenen, Switzerland. The artist works and lives in Baroda.

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