Sanjay Sharma grew up in a rural area of India called Jharkhand. He left for New Delhi to attend art school when he was 23 years old. He considers this life event a miracle.
His paintings, which are about the human condition, are clearly influenced by his upbringing, the traditional beliefs he was raised with, and the social hierarchy he grew up in.
The simple compositions, flat graphic figures, and somber sense of humor reflect a contemporary western style of art. Sanjay is interested in human conflict, behaviors, and societal discontent. He documents the mundane with a surreal twist in order to reveal the unique and absurd condition of being human.
In “Exercise Demons” the figures engaging in physical exercise look like prisoners. In a piece titled “Mall” a giant tuxedo dwarfs the shoppers. Is Sanjay commenting on the frivolity of our aspirations, or the control that society and social/political hierarchy has over our lives?
The work contains symbols of surveillance, rebellion, and control. The materiality of the canvas is also important to Sanjay. He textures the canvas with many layers of color until he is satisfied with the richness of the surface. The backgrounds feel aged and cemented, trapping and washing out the characters that he paints on top of them.
The work communicates with a street art language, depicting figures that could be anyone, with imagery meant to stop us as we go about our daily lives, their mystery rolling around in our heads.