How Kunel Gaur’s art is a dialogue between Brutalist architecture, pop culture, and time

Mezzanine, by Kunel Gaur

Design, according to Gaur, is supposed to solve a problem. “It should always be simple—remember, you are dealing with a world constantly wading through complexities.”

Post-Future Era

One of his works titled Array One strips those commercial complexities in favour of a grid-like showpiece, on which emblems of major brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike reflect the links between pop culture and artistic expression. In another, the text reads, “Post-Future Era.” Incidentally, the line that most resonates with Gaur is by the writer William Gibson: “The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed.”

He explains: “Most of my work talks about a time which we will never see or it’s possible that it’s so far ahead in the future that we have no inkling of it. They are like pipe dreams from a parallel universe.” He says he has only recently started inserting text into his work. These are musings that have nowhere else to go.

Post-future Era, by Kunel Gaur

As Gaur explains, his imagery these days is inspired by the street culture that he sees everywhere around a rapidly urbanizing India. Gaur runs the independent creative agency Animal. Perhaps, it’s no accident then, that motifs like signage, branding, building facades, brochures and labels appeal to him the most as he navigates consumerism to draw attention to the curiosities around us.

 “When you go out to the market you see signboards, and this design chaos stays with you subconsciously. The experience I have had working with brands and their communication across digital and physical platforms gives me the freedom to break that information down, assimilate and deconstruct all that I want to take away from it and discard the rest to work on forming my own aesthetic. A sensibility that I can then continue to explore further,” he concludes.

‘Information Architecture™’ is at the Method Gallery, Mumbai, from 10 February until 20 March.

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