In the works of Manish Sharma, the idea of nostalgia is evoked as a part of a person or a community’s strong intentions to escape from the oppressive present and take refuge in the memories of a golden past. However, the same notion of nostalgia could be a part of the political thinking of a creative person. Seen from the perspective of an artist, structuring forms that evoke political nostalgia is one of the possible ways of generating a socio-cultural and political critique.
Manish’s art originates as a cultural and political critique not only on the administrative apathy of the local governing bodies but also on all those agencies that facilitate the cannibalisation of cultures all over the world through imperialistic incursions, economic proliferation and mindless modernisation. He was particularly affected when he witnessed the bringing down of old structures in Bikaner, photographs of which he has merged with classic Rajasthani motifs and used as backdrops for the works exhibited here. He feels that one day all the ethnic cities, villages and human habitats would become museum specimens either living in the nostalgic memories of the people who had witnessed the erstwhile glory of such places or living in the government/corporate sponsored tourist guide books. His works emulate this idea of memory as museum and museum as memory and he hopes that his works would evoke empathetic relationships between the objects, the onlookers as well as cultural and economic policy makers.
Born in 1978, Manish Sharma completed his MFA (Painting) from Faculty of Fine Arts, Rajasthan University in 2002. Manish is a very promising Indian contemporary artist represented by Art Centrix Space, New Delhi and recently exhibited his sculptures at our curated booth at India Art Fair 2019. He has also showcased in the exhibition:‘Arikamedu’, a group exhibition curated by Monica Jain at our gallery in 2018. Till date, he has had two solo shows titled ‘Museum Shop’ at Ravindra Manch Gallery, Jaipur in 2017 and ‘Welcome to the Loot’ at Jaipur Kala Kendra in Jaipur, 2010. His works were also a part of the show “Vishvaroopa”, the form of the universe, at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture in Kolkata. In 2015, he exhibited at the show, In Box at Srishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad. He also participated at the Jaipur art summit in 2013. In 2012 he was part of the show, Roti Kapada Aur Makaan at Ojas Art, New Delhi. His works were also exhibited at the Pink City Art Project in India & Korea. In 2009 his works were also represented at Budapest, Hungary. He was part of the show, Keep Drawing, which was showcased at Gallery Espace, New Delhi and Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai. He is a recipient of the Junior Fellowship Award by the Ministry of Culture, government of India in 2011. In the year 2003 he received the National Award by Lalit Kala Akademi and the AIFACS, New Delhi. From 2002 to 2004 he also received the National Scholarship by the Ministry of Human Resources, Dept. of Tourism and Culture, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
Currently, Manish lives and works in Jaipur, Rajasthan.