As an Indian-born American, Sagar is invested in the study of South Asian methods of art, studying forms of folk and classical painting and training in Kathak, a classical Indian dance form. Sagar’s work refuses the manufactured binary of “tradition” and “contemporary”—belonging neither to the East nor West—through which he continuously discovers facets of joy and personal identities.
This pursuit of joy, both as an internal state as well as a metaphorical landscape, informs and energizes his practice. While working, Sagar experiments with methods of making—manipulating scale, interrupting the surface with natural materials and pigments such as flower petals, using dance compositions as points of reference, etc. Sagar’s artistic process is holistic; he tends to meet concepts at an intersection of painting, collage, and dance. He needs to understand the physicality of his pieces before he is able to translate them visually—whether that be the effects of gravity on a figure, or the energy flow within. In general, this process is a combination of the subject matter as well as the movement of the body and transferring that energy and story from Sagar into the work.
Sagar’s practice of interacting with and questioning ideas within the framework of South Asian forms evolves the vocabularies both in realms of abstraction and figurative pieces. He reimagines representations of the body through folk and classical imageries and asserts those dialogues into the works. Sagar has investigated Rasa theory—exploring the emotive aesthetic through the use of color and incorporated narrative through figurative elements like mudras (hand positions).
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