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March 10, 2021 Wednesday 11:23:31 AM IST

Surreal Expressions

Art & Literature

Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali quoted 'Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.' Surrealism movement is best known for its visual artworks and writings of distant realities to activate the unconscious mind through the imagery. Antra Srivastava, a contemporary artist based in Mumbai, has been passionate in following surrealism in her works.

Antra says she loves to express herself through her body of work reflects her inclination towards abstract figurative style too. Her work is largely based on inner reflections and rich imagination which generally reflects her sensitivity towards observations, beliefs, values and vast compilation of past experiences.

She works with oil and acrylic and experiments with various other mediums as well. Rich and subtle colors are an integral part of her compositions. In fact, this uniqueness in style along with her inclination towards mysticism makes her work look different from other contemporary artists of the present era.

Antra displayed her solo art show in Jehangir Art Gallery, M.G. Road, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, from 16th to 22nd February 2021. The exhibition named, “The Inner Element”, showcased the complete range of her work on different series in surreal style.


Last year, Antra made a wonderful effort to portray Ramayan through symbolism. In her Facebook post, she has written: "My endeavour to express Ramayan in a spiritual context through symbolism was quite a challenging experience for me and I loved every bit while doing it. Though its enormity is such that it will take at least 100 works to portray the entire story but in order to keep the soul of Ramayan crisp and concise for one wall I had to squeeze it in to 16 miniature works. I had to give out many important events like Bharat Milan, Kevat, Shabri, Ahilya, Urmila episodes. Somehow whatever small attempt I did on contemplating, visualising and portraying about the life of Ram opened new dimensions of my mind and I could feel the energy it transmutes in an ordinary being."

Antra Srivastava, graduate with honours in English Literature, is a self-taught artist, poet and a registered translator on Amazon. She has been working professionally for more than two decades.  She is an avid traveller – her extensive globe-trotting brought her into the contact with wealth of outlooks and introduced her to vast range of perceptions which profoundly affected her work.

Painting Poetry

Being an Army wife, social welfare has always been an integral part of her life. She has conducted various art workshops for the families and children of armed forces as well as in civil to sensitize people about the healing and uplifting power of art and also its economic prospects. Recently she has collaborated her work with an acclaimed Iraqi Poet. Their idiosyncratic book 'Poetic Palette' showcasing her paintings based on the poems of the poet is published and received with great response.

Antra has deep interest in language and literature and apart from expressing through brushes she expresses herself through her poems and other literary mediums as well. She has translated a novella (A Gothic Christmas Angel) of an award winning American author Anna Erishkigal, which was well received.

Along with numerous group/solo shows across the country at state and National level, she has also represented country in International art arena, curated and sponsored by eminent International Gallerist Mona Youssef  in Art Monaco, French Riviera, France (2015) and Art Shopping carrousel du Louvre, Paris (2017).

Her works adorn several VIP Army Messes, Royal Itarana Palace (Alwar), and various Senior Army, Government, Corporates and business owners’ private collections in India and abroad.