Abhay Sehgal's Surrealist Art Ponders The Fears & Fantasies Of The Digital Age

Abhay Sehgal explores the ideologies of fear and fantasy, drawing viewers into a reality that mirrors nature’s own fantastical elements.
Abhay Sehgal explores the ideologies of fear and fantasy, drawing viewers into a reality that mirrors nature’s own fantastical elements.Abhay Sehgal

Emerging like revelatory visions from the deep psyche, Abhay Sehgal’s paintings elicit a multidimensional experience encompassing the human condition in all its complexities. His artworks are their own worlds that you can enter and spend a good amount of time in, cradled amongst the neural connections they spark. 

An Indian-born contemporary artist now residing in Miami, Abhay stands out in the art world for his unique focus on surrealism. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he delves into the realms of dreams and psychology through his illustrations and animations. His works, which blend elements of visual effects and various mediums, explore the ideologies of fear and fantasy, drawing viewers into a reality that mirrors nature’s own fantastical elements.

Abhay’s art cohesively weaves familiar objects to express the anxieties of the digital age. “Every object or symbolism has a different meaning,” he explains. “In the digital age, the same object can evoke laughter, tears, or anger. It’s fascinating how something non-physical can touch our emotions so deeply.” This dual nature of digital symbols, which is both a blessing and a curse is central to his work; reflecting the psychological unease that permeates our technologically saturated lives.

A recurring theme in Abhay’s art is the contrast between personal perspective and external judgment. He believes that his paintings are a translation of how he interprets certain life situations. “Bubbles burst for everyone at some point. We sometimes deviate from our beliefs. My paintings translate these interpretations. They might not resonate with critics, but they should evoke a sense of relatability.” Abhay aims for his audience to reflect on their own stories when engaging with his visual elements, hoping that future viewers will find either amusement or concern in his work while interpreting it through the lens of their own experiences.

Describing his paintings as ‘bridges’ between his artistic intentions and the audience’s interpretations, Abhay uses the inherent ambiguity of his work to forge connections. He finds that objects and culture act as invisible bridges that unify diverse perspectives. “When I started having critical sessions in college, I realized it’s tough to make anyone resonate with what you’re going through. But objects and culture have the power to speak universally. These bridges bring us all together.”

Nostalgia too plays a significant role in this connection. Abhay seeks to evoke the emotion of innocence in his viewers, reminding them of a time when life was simpler and emotions were pure. “Humans are nostalgic. We long for the innocence of childhood when we were too young to understand life’s complexities. This ‘retro-ness’ in my work aims to bring back those faded emotions of happiness.”

Abhay’s detailed works activate different parts of the mind simultaneously, much like a collage. However, he remains open about his future artistic direction. “Life and emotional maturity keep evolving. Right now, my thinking leads to depicting ten stories in one frame. But who knows how it will change? Maybe I’ll become more detail-oriented or maybe I’ll continue seeing life as I do now.”

Abhay Sehgal’s journey as an artist reflects a deep engagement with the psychological nuances of modern life, blending technology with traditional art forms. His ability to evoke powerful emotions through familiar objects makes his work both timeless and profoundly relevant, inviting audiences to explore their own inner worlds through the surreal landscapes he creates.

You can follow Abhey here.

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