As new art trends continue to sail into the Indian shores and the gallery culture continues to fade, we at Be Beautiful are on the prowl to bring you the latest from the art dock. With our BB Art Showcase, a month long art project, we invite 5 artists across India to showcase their work here – an artist every week over the course of the month. The first in this series, we’re in conversation with Mumbai-based abstractionist Jai Ranjit.

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How would you define your art, in terms of genre?
My art can be seen as a form of cubist portraiture and semi-gestural abstraction. It's evolved from my internal abilities and external studies and influences of the artists Kandinsky, Picasso, the New York group of Abstract Expressionists and several Indian artists like Brinda Miller, Jehangir Sabavala and Akbar Padamsee to name a few.

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What is your art background? Previous work?
I am a self-taught artist who has been painting full time for nearly 8 years now and have been teaching art for 5 years. I also do photography and conduct regular gallery tours to engage with the current art. In the past, I've also been a part of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival team under Brinda Miller, and have painted several murals in Mumbai as well as exhibited solo. My works have been hosted in group shows in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

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A piece of work that you’re particularly proud of?
There are certain paintings and murals that I'm proud of; these include paintings titled Emotional Reactions, Portrait in Blue, Industry and a woodcut print titled Night School.

Someone else’s work that you wish was yours?
As an artist, I love having art around me, and as and when I can afford to buy art, I do. I'd love to own works by artists like Rajvardhan Kadam, Mira Malhotra, and if ever possible perhaps works by Akbar Padamsee and T. Venkanna.

What is the newest international art trend? What art trends are hitting the Indian shores?
The age of global art has arrived, and Indian artists are producing world class art while setting trends themselves. The notion of personal stories through raw visuals is making a comeback, as is the use of printmaking. I think the newest trend in art is to explore new media like installations, performance and video art, but I believe that painting and printmaking (among many other traditional art forms) will grow and even outshine the former.

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Share with us the thought process behind this art work?
This work, titled Industry, is one of my older works. It was created in 2008 and was inspired by the raw, fiery processes of smelting, wherein the molten iron we see in the glorious golden yellow form turns into nearly everything we use around us, from building materials to cooking utensils and tools. It represents, to me, the idea that no matter how much we might think and speak in complex terms and forms, it's the raw material that matters the most – if we lose who we are, nothing we say or do will ever be able to stand the test of time.

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To view more of Jai’s art:
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/zaiuu
On Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/artwithzaiu