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Sunil Padwal’s art depicts his personal and emotional experience


“I grew up in the small lands of South Bombay. So for me, the grid of Bombay, the objects of Bombay, the small interesting parts of Bombay, which gradually are vanishing…so someway what I am trying to do is if I can capture those changing phase of Bombay and the childhood memories of my past…that process is like a therapy for me.\”

Sunil Padwal


Sunil Chandrakant Padwal is an Indian Modern & Contemporary painter. Padwal has come a long way in his engagement with his first passion, art, from painting the walls of a chawl to displaying his work at some of the most prestigious art galleries worldwide. The unfortunate societal events are coloured in Padwal\’s works with a whiff of longing, nostalgia, and anguish. The artist experiments with numerous kinds of expression in an effort to evolve both personally and socially. Instead of using the more typical flat surfaces, the artist likes to give dimension to his works of art by using odd curved surfaces. Sunil Padwal doesn\’t want to condense the scope of his subject matter to a single title, thus he uses words like \”bold, uncomplicated, and immaculate\” throughout his work. Therefore, the majority of his works are untitled.


Sunil was born on 17th November 1968 in Maharashtra, India. He did Bachelor of Fine Arts foundation from Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1986 and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai in 1989. He is well known for his protagonist, ‘the thinking man,’ whose mouth is sealed and through whom he makes strong and sometimes dark statements. His works touch a chord of anguish and nostalgia about the shortcomings of humanity and the problems not only of his home city, Mumbai but of society and the world at large.


Growing up in South Mumbai\’s congested byways throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Padwal strongly bonded with the city\’s streets, their items, animals, and social dramas playing out there. These street experiences serve as the foundation for Padwal\’s conception of modernity as uncertainty and delusion. In contrast to the refined and regulated environments of middle-class, apartment-dwelling Mumbai, where violence manifests as psychological drama, Violence was visibly present in Padwal\’s memories, and social interactions openly enacted current and ancient conflicts between people and communities. The artist\’s memory labyrinths are inextricably linked to the tangled passageways of old Mumbai, which were formed by the accumulation of trash and mechanical objects.


The artist\’s current concerns and his relationship to the commonplace tools and equipment that were an integral part of that environment reflect the emotional pull of those experiences. That which remains suppressed finds expression in a renewed relationship to these objects, through drawings that abstract the artists’ ambiguous, emotional attraction toward these objects. The drawing\’s lines link the languages of the hand, the eye, and memory. However, the lines inevitably establish a symbolic connection between these sensations and the representational objects they aim for.


In a long-running investigation into his personal and emotional experience of the metropolitan environments that frame his life journey, Padwal uses sketching, photography, and the entrance of the purely visual into the tactile realm of objects. The process of developing a vocabulary and a language to format the visible and its resonances with our emotional life is started and continued by his layering of many categories, textures, images, phrases, and materials. Sunil is continuously changing himself and the world around him. He is experimenting with new forms of expressions, and in the process forcing us to delve further into his magical and mysterious art.

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  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunil_Padwal
  2. https://ankusharora.net/2018/12/17/the-idea-of-bombay-through-sunil-padwals-lens/
  3. https://www.thepeacockmagazine.com/sunil-padwal-the-art-virtuoso

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