In his own words the exuding silence of Dinesh Rai’s colors is not solely derived from his palette but from the grey or bright hues of his own life. “It is from my long arduous attempt to become an artist that the dark shades of constant anxiety of creative expression emerged with the faint light of possibility, of the impending future. It is from the world inside me and outside that I derive my inspiration and my subjects.” Born in the old part of the late medieval city of Bhopal, known for its Muslim women rulers, Dinesh Rai spent his childhood and his youth in an environment of hybrid culture of both Islamic and Hindu values. Progression of history of this medieval city created shadows of loss and longing for the past. “It is not merely the tattering dilapidated buildings and the old parts of the city which show that loss in its faded walls but it is the life itself gripped in the anxiety of transformation”. In this anxiety of transformation, Dinesh Rai’s paintings try to depict the sadness of loss and longing for innocence of the nostalgic past. The colors in his paintings show a thin layer of stilled waves with intense submergence, from which the condensed shadow of virtuality appears like a tender tension of lost time. The geometrical shapes in his work try to bring together angular corners of the human and natural world, indicative of the slanting rays of light trapped in the viscosity of color.
The audacity of Dinesh Rai’s determination to pursue a creative path could be testified by the story of his life. Trained as a lawyer he faced insurmountable difficulty in realizing his artistic passion as people around him failed to recognize any meaning in his endeavor “people use to give me a reprimanding look whenever they found me making figures on the city court benches”. This denial from the people around him, instead of discouraging him, made him more resolute to follow his creative passions. Dinesh Rai gradually developed his own style of painting. His inclination towards the abstract style testifies to his aversion towards the apparent figurative reality of fixed symbols. “I always wanted to speak through silence and it was through color and brush on the canvas that I was able to do that”.
Sadly, Contemporary Artist Dinesh Rai passed away in Bhopal, INDIA on September 9, 2021.