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Sangeeta Mahajan’s work explores what lies beneath the human skin and the subtle, unspoken twists of the heart and mind. Her works reflect the subtle nuances of people’s realities and their inner selves. She has researched many of the Old Masters, their media and their methods. Taking inspiration from Rembrandt’s light, Caravaggio’s use of chiaroscuro, and compositions of the Dutch Masters, Sangeeta looks to express inner emotions through outward expressions and gestural movements.
“I studied literature and poetry and I think that comes out through my work. I want to show those emotions and stories. I’m interested in distortions of beauty and beauty ideals and looking at the mind of my subjects. I often think ‘what are they thinking, how would they express their feelings and how do I express that’? “
Sangeeta likes to frame people in situ and capture the micro expressions, the transient emotions and the psychology of relationships that can barely be seen on the surface. Sangeeta works out of a studio where she creates sets, plays with backdrops and props and the placement, textures and gestures of bodies in those spaces.
Sangeeta Mahajan’s Navid is a moving portrait of longing and displacement. The subject of this compelling photograph is not a visitor in this universal migrant story. Although wearing assumed dress, a ruff collar and shirt, he is a cultural being nursing an instrument which articulates the voice of his ancestors, close yet distant. Despite the existential threat to cultural identity and tradition in a foreign land, he holds on to that which he cannot release. The artist has deftly staged this image like a director to create an unforgettable work that is dramatic and bittersweet.
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