Promoted as Web 3.0's most discerning curator-driven marketplace, HEFTY.art made headlines last year for consecrating painter M.F. Husain's Fury in the medium of non-fungible tokens or NFTs and successfully auctioning it through an alliance with Sotheby's (London). Since then, its user-friendly platform has evolved as a formidable player in the digital art realm, founders Ashish Chowdhry and Kanishq Chhabria espousing its Seracle blockchain cloud for having made NFTs accessible to everyone.
An incandescent partnership with Method, an independent Mumbai-based gallery, is slowly yielding a roster of avant-garde creators like Amrit Pal Singh and more recently, the pop-surrealist Rohan Joglekar.
Leaping off the canvas from his Happy in the Hippocampus series exhibited last November, the Tripper Trooper characters that Rohan painted in acrylic have now found everlasting posterity on HEFTY.art but can also be purchased as physical 6" x 6" prints on archival paper, signed and numbered by the artist himself. An old hand at magical realism, Rohan's repertoire is known for his mind-swirling psychedelia of entangled flamingos, swimsuit bodies with avian heads à la Bojack Horseman and inscrutable landscapes inhabited by mutated tropical anomalies.
The Tripper Troopers, bent over in the iconic classroom murga position, are contorted representations of the hedonistic impulse in all of us. Atoning for their instant gratification, the Troopers' self-lacerating undertone of introspection runs like a shadow under these ostensibly vibrant colours, seeking purpose amidst the lasciviousness of existence. The technique that made such bizarre, foetal visions possible is Rohan's elaborate use of Surrealist Automatism, a stream-of-consciousness process of art-making that taps into the troubling symbolism lurking within the substratum of one's repressed identity.
A wanton surrender to the hippocampus's dream weaving abilities, Rohan's mythical universe enshrines the possibility that though we may be subject now and then to some rather troubling illusions, they don't necessarily have to make us shrink in fear. The Goa-based artist started out as a designer at Light-Fish, Auroville but now has embraced the gig economy with gusto, producing illustrations and merchandise within the phygital sphere that are hot property because they are so unique.
You can purchase your prints for this artist here.