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Shreyas Karle

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1981, Maharashtra, India
Lives and works in Mumbai

Shreyas Karle uses a variety of forms of expression such as collage, illustration, video, sculptural forms, publications and collaborative community projects. His works are loaded with visual pun which are created, keeping in mind either mundane objects or situations. Karle resists labeling or giving meaning to his works, as he prefers to veil a single piece of work with multiple set of meanings. The idea of absurdity is intrinsic to his work as it reflects a deeper meaning in association to the ironies of reality.



M.V.A. in Visual Arts, M.S. University, Baroda


Post Diploma in Indian Aesthetics, Mumbai University


M.V.A. in Visual Arts, M.S. University, Baroda

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For the artist, both God and artist are worshipped and put on the same pedestal

The artist in his book, Today's Artists- Tomorrow's God's states, "Anything and everything is God, anything and everything is art."Both are divine, supreme and transcendental. Not only religion, but art and culture also are worshipped by us. As the artist likens art to God, he establishes a relation between the two in terms of characteristics, such as both can be found in any form, shape and color.  The artist is earnest enough not to miss out on the fact that both Art and God are mediums for earning money, and that too by being still and by merely hanging on walls. In the process of drawing analogies between God and art, Karle highlights the blatant truth- "True god cannot be seen, true art cannot be seen." By stating this, the artist implies that just like the true God is indecipherable and mysterious true art is also hidden and has to be discovered through the process of self realization.

Shreyas Karle, The Gallery God, 2010, wood, mirror, motor mechanism, dimensions variable

His philosophy towards life and yearning from truth

Karle's fellow artist,Hemali Bhuta likens the artist to a "Bahurupia", someone who assumes various roles and still does not reveal his true identity in the process. The only thing that remains intact in his ever changing identity is his act of unveiling truths and exposing the mask behind deception. He uses things that are common and mundane to create experiences in order to subject them to deeper interrogations. Through these art works, Karle jolts the minds of the viewers by shedding the veils of reality and offering a revelation. What we are and the world around us can only be understood by self realization. The artist's enigma and his philosophies are hidden among the simplest examples derived from daily life. The artist believes in positioning oneself at a distance as this allows one a space to keep coming in and out of the situation and also a vantage point in terms of observing, questioning and interrogating and thus, opening the door to realization.

Shreyas Karle, To get rid of pimples, stop mirror worship, drawing, 8.25 x 6.25"

Karle often uses the shape of the cone to suggest the hidden multiple meanings

Karle experiments with this particular shape in order to bring about certain emotions. Whether it is the range of inverted mountains, human nose or the loudspeaker- all three are conical in shape and most importantly these are not merely forms but have been imbued with different logical interpretations. Karle plays with the irony of upside-down reflection of the world and its philosophies in his creation of the inverted mountains. Similarly, human beings digging their nose (which is also conical in shape) also has a meaning to it. The artist mocks at the normal habit of digging one's nose, but at the same time, also associates this act with introspection and thinking. Also, the loudspeaker is a medium for voices to be heard- the voice could either be the voice represented by the individual who is part of the collective or this voice could be the society's voice forcing conditions on the masses. So, according to Karle, this form suggests a growing anxiety!

Shreyas Karle, The Daily Lava Producing Active Volcano with Two Crates, 2008, ink on paper, 8 x 7"

The artist unveils the deep connection between absurdity and logic

Karle's visuals try to evoke disturbing emotions in a pleasant situation. His art lies in unfolding the ironical truths of the world. We see the world as it is in front of us, but Shreyas unveils the irony of this topsy- turvy reflection of the world. He questions the hidden reality behind things through his subtle humor which he portrays through his visuals. Karle complicates the idea of a mundane yet simple and beautiful life. Even a simple thing like a mountain is shown as inverted such that the hunky dory space occupied by the viewer is pulled away from him. Thus, Karle unfolds the mystery behind things that appear simple only to thwart the idea of "truth" and "reality". His art spells out a deeper philosophy which pervades us to a lesson in self realization.

Shreyas Karle, Inverted Mountain, 2009, rusted metal plate, 31 ft. long

Karle's art portrays the falsity of religion

The artist through his work has successfully depicted how the human minds have been contaminated by religion that is no less than a commodity. Karle questions the idea of offering donations in religious places through his artwork "daan-peti". "Daan-Peti" is a mocking yet ironical take on the treachery of religion which is done in the name of God. Consciously or unconsciously, the first thing that we do on seeing the donation box is to insert a coin or two in it. Karle establishes an analogy between the human being making the offering and the coin that he inserts in the box, by calling the coin the human himself. The human in the form of the coin is in search of the heavenly abode for his/ her life after death. In want of a secure and safe life, he bribes God, assuring a life free of sins. Even while seeking emancipation from the material world, he cannot free himself from the most satiating entity of the material world, that is, money which he offers to God. So, the coin is the human himself and the slit in which the coin is stuck and through which he is about to enter is the gateway to heaven. So, through this creation, Karle is well able to mock as well as question the dubiousness of religion and its principles.

Shreyas Karle, Dan Peti, 2009, wood, 9 x 9"