Making the invisible visible

Mahesh's love for photography and his engagement with light cannot be contested. This corporate honcho finally took the plunge in 2005 to follow his first love, photography, and remain true to the medium.

When I first saw Mahesh's pictures some years ago, I was intrigued by the manner in which he captured the essence of light in his own image making. In a way "light" becomes a recurring leitmotif in his work; whether he is looking at flora or fauna or simply capturing a moment, light seems to be his constant muse.

With light Mahesh centres himself. He chases it, seduces it, captures it, and even challenges it. And it is his feverish obsession with the phenomenon that he reminds me of a similar engagement with light which engaged the Dutch masters right through to the French Impressionists. Ever since the introduction of photography in 1837, there has been an incestuous relationship between painting and photography. In the present post-structuralist world with the blurring of boundaries between art practices and theory, an entire new language of conceptual art has been added to the fine-art realm.

With the coming of age of photography in India, a new bunch of aware, self-confident voices is scanning the drum of image making. Once such visual "document" emerges with the works of Mahesh. He is not simply taking pretty pictures but is investigating the medium; and within the medium, he is refining his technique, his precise gaze and the objectification of representation.

Alka Pande