K. P. Reji



                                         Photo credit J. A. Joji

K. P. Reji’s career of over two decades is marked with an array of significant works that are a strong take on local and global politics using subtle moments from the everyday life of ordinary people. He articulates this with an unmissable element of wit. His early works vividly brought out reflections on the life of the marginalised in the urban and semi-urban contexts he had lived in, with a moving portrayal of the lives of the displaced. His art from the last decade or so have been expanding further into the facet of community life in India, specifically commenting on the ways in which the lives of people are orchestrated by the state. ‘Rejis art probes the disintegration of traditional family and community relationships in the ‘new’ India, following the globalization of the 1990s.’ states curator Zehra Jumabhoy (Phaidon, 2016). Reji's paintings are situated in an interesting interjection of the socio-political milieu of the lives of common people. Prof. Deeptha Achar has significantly pointed out how Reji's representations of this new order are structured around an incisive examination of the category family. The family, as it emerges in this body of work, is caught in the interstices of nation and capital. Rendered at moments of the intensely personal—during sleep, at play, setting up a house or making love—the family nevertheless is shown relentlessly tied to governmental forces that shape its very contours.’ (2009 The Guild).  

The people that make an entry into his compositions are marked with a distinct individuality, while the landscape, flora and fauna reestablish the region specificity. Reji's engagement with the immediate visual surroundings, context and cultural specificity extend to become a powerful narratives of everyday life.

Reji opts to the conventional medium of oil on canvas, which has allowed him to deeply explore the painterly sensibilities and a distinct visual language. More than that, using this medium becomes a conscious interventionist choice he makes. The large canvases become a stage/ setting where many plots unfold. They are usually populated with people engaged in doing ordinary and often bizarre things. 











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