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Vignettes of Ghodkem, a solo exhibition by Goan artist Mohit Naik




It was only a matter of time before Mohit Naik, son of the noted Goan artist Mohan Naik, unleashed the artist within. And, what better way to present his solo debut than capturing stunning scenes from his village, Ghodkem, in his paintings.


Many artists have a muse, and generations of artists have been influenced by, and admired, the older genre of artists. And, it’s a no-brainer to figure out that Mohit Naik gleans inspiration from his father, Mohan, an artist who art aficionados and collectors have followed for over a couple of decades.


FROM ACADEMICS TO ART


Growing up with easels, paint and canvas, Mohit always wanted to be an artist. He painted on canvas in Std V, experimenting with varying mediums, and won school level competitions. His first group show was in 2008, at Attic Art Gallery, in Panjim, and Art Fest in Chichinim in 2011.


He then perused academics, attaining a BA in Business Administration, and an MBA in 2019. He worked with a company for around 6 months, before figuring out that art was his calling. So, he quit his job, and ventured into the art world. He makes his début with his first solo show titled ‘Ghodkem,’ at Carpe Diem Art Gallery, previewing on March 12, 2022.


“My parents have always been supportive of my decisions. During the lockdown, I sat on the hill behind our house, sketching the movement of the branches of trees, changing direction with the sun. I would walk around our village, Ghodkem, and noticed the changes in lifestyle, and though the subjects are akin — elongated figures and village scenarios — to that of my father, who always said, ‘Nothing is a waste in art, it's how, one learns from it.’ I am consistently working on developing my own techniques, which I hope are evident in this assortment of subjects.”

In the 50+ works, in watercolour and oil, Mohit takes up a concept which is largely avoided in the modern age, which brings viewers to tender glazes in picturesque colours, and black and white semi-abstract figures. He depicts scenarios that occur in everyday life in the village, lending expressions of gestures, and offering visual metaphors of emotions, in an attempt to capture moments in time.


Mohit idolizes renowned artists M F Husain and B Prabha. Indian miniatures, Ajanta murals, animals and edifices inspire him.


As for where he aspires to be five years from now, he opines, “My journey begins here. I want to live in different places, meet artists and critics, and seek their opinions. And also, attempt to grab the viewer’s attention and carry their gaze into the emotion of the painting. Changes will come along the way as I push boundaries, attain intuitive sensibility and gestural aesthetics, influenced by a dynamic painting style. I prefer to allow the painting and personal expressions to tell a story, and not to look into future potentials right now.”

A state-level badminton player, self-taught guitarist, who is fond of jazz and rock, invites you to see everyday life on the streets of Godkem, the process of remembering and translation to a language produced by defined lines and strokes.


Gallerist Daegal Godinho affirms, “It’s important for us to promote young artists. We have to acknowledge that some young artists, whether formally or informally educated in the field, are likely to show potential for growth, and look out for good drawing skills, handling of paint mediums, compositions and an eagerness to learn from others. There are many unique traits in Mohit’s work that will surely become more dominant as he continues to grow as an artist.”

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