STILL LIFE

When an artist picks up dangling threads and ties them together, sometimes the result is a jolt as powerful as when electrical wires cross. Sparks fly, heads turn and a stilled sense of beauty is unleashed.

When an artist/photographer concentrates on still lifes strange things happen. The wall, a nail, a cove, a lone tap comes to seem at once touching, playful and absurdly contemplative. All subjects in this black and white sojourn become delicate, almost fragile in the poignancy of their predetermined silent frames.

As the images play out we can see that Samit unconsciously locates the tensions between the identity one is born with and the identity constructed through the intricacies of a personal interaction — between observing and the facets of being. It becomes a template for subsequent compositions. Camera in hand Samit explores. It leads to marvelous surprises.

As an artist, he considers the complexity of that otherwise conventional experience. Nothing elaborate, nothing monumental, just small single facets juxtaposed with ugly urban detritus — dumpsters, gutter trash, sterile places with wires and other parts all without a living soul in sight.

The play of the wall mingles with urban survival. His subsequent fusion of street photography with Conceptual art’s documentary uses of camera work is distinctive.

One just dives right in, embracing still life history as being potentially as meaningful as the subject being documented. Samit simultaneously accepts and rejoices in the subject he freezes. And when developed in the drama of the dark room, it is remade into a powerful document of humanist experience.

Uma Nair

2009

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