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Dilip Chobisa

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1978, Rajasthan, India
Lives and works in Baroda, Gujarat, India

Dilip Chobisa is an interesting figure in the contemporary art scene, who majorly works in graphite on paper and various other mediums as well. The empty space a recurring trope in his works raises issues of alienation, isolation, emptiness and contradictions of three and two dimensionality.



Masters in Visual Arts, Sculpture, Faculty of Fine arts, M.S. University of Baroda, Gujarat, India


Bachelors in Visual Arts, Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

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Addressing the role of medium in an artwork

Dilip Chobisa is a kind of artist for whom medium and material play an equal role as his subject or form and content of his works. He has consciously pondered upon the fact of process and rendering involved in creating an artwork. He doesn’t treat his medium as mere tool of expression rather they speak equivocally and play with perceptual depth. The usage of graphite on paper, digital print, painted wooden frames and acrylic glass speaks of a process which itself very intriguing and complex yet is able to create a fascinating pictorial space which builds up a subtle conflict of tactile and illusory space. His training as a sculptor helped him in exploring such a varied range of material succeeded towards a kind of work which are not paintings or sculptural relief but something in between carrying qualities of both. In Nostalgia I, 2013 he has used different materials like graphite on paper, digital print on canvas, silk screen, thread, and mixed media painted wooden frame and acrylic glass which together create his oeuvre.

Dilip Chobisa, Nostalgia I, 2013, graphite on paper, digital print on canvas, silk screen, thread and mixed media painted wooden frame and acrylic glass, 5x5"

The sense of alienation and silence in artworks

The works of Dilip Chobisa speak about a strange alienation, a sense of silence amidst the chaos. Though the alienation is intense but there is a sense of theatricality that can be matched with Beethoven’s Symphony when it reaches to its climax and suddenly drops down and gives you a feeling of serenity after an intense moment. He speaks about a space which is devoid of any human existence though there are subtle suggestions of it. The usage of light and colour also amplifies the sense of a void. The colour of silence is black, the passages between sound and silence encode shades of grey and white,that is how, impetuously it comes to mind while experiencing Dilip works,writes Avijna Bhattacharya. A kind of minimalist attitude can be sensed in works of Chobisa, expressing loads through minimal gestures. In I don’t hide…it’s there, 2014 such kind of silence can be observed, a checkered floor which goes from one room to another room. A door takes the gaze from one end the other yet leaving it incomplete by giving only a partial view of the other space. This intriguing play of space, light and silence enables the viewer not only to look at it but also to feel a moment of complete silence where even the air has also stopped to blow.

Dilip Chobisa, I don’t hide…it’s there D, 2014, graphite on paper and canvas, acrylic colour, mixed media, painted wooden frame and acrylic glass, 36 x 36 in

The Space as the protagonist of pictorial plane

Space plays the most important role in Dilip Chobisa’s painting. Space becomes the leading element in the painting for the gaze of the viewer. It is not only the emptiness but also a sense of alienation, a silence which the artist himself enjoys and finds most profound to depict in his works.  Chobisa’s oeuvre reflects a kind of spatiality which questions our preconceived notions of space. Though space is often treated as a setting, it gets transfigured into the protagonist. Space has been interestingly dealt upon, where perspective spatial depth everything has been put together in a different way which is able to question our conception about space. For example in I don’t hide…it’s there C the contrast and juxtaposition of a wall or a room leading towards another room adds to a complexity of perception as our gaze shifts from one end of the work to another and from one focal point to another. Also the mattress which lies on the floor of the room and a small window in the room builds quasi-mysterious environment where though there is no living being around yet a suggestion of their existence can be felt. In Chobisa’s work, there is an inter-dependable relationship of space, depth and perspective which gets created. In fact, Chobisa very subtly creates visual interferences which play with our ability to perceive.

Dilip Chobisa, I don’t hide…it’s there C, 2014, graphite on paper and canvas, acrylic colour, mixed media, painted wooden frame and acrylic glass, 36 x 36”

A subtle space with emotional and philosophical underpinnings

There is a sense of meditation, a space where one gets focused, a coplanar viewpoint can be perceived through Dilip Chobisa’s works. His works not only bring the contradiction of space but also a deeper emotional and philosophical sense subtly put together, underlying the oeuvre. For example the work Untitled, 2009 shows a room with a window which faces towards a bricked wall, a dead end, but on the floor there is a strange light that falls on the floor. The light creates a punctum in the painting which holds the painting. The light can be read as a ray of hope which comes out from the same window which has a dead end in front of it. Hence Dilip has been playing with these kind of surreal or real ideas which might be floating around us yet we are unable to see or conceive them.

Dilip Chobisa, Untitled, 2009, graphite on paper, 61 x 61 cm