Viraag Desai was born in Kolkata in 1986, completed his schooling in 2004 and left the next year to do his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
After working for a year in L.A. he has returned to set up studio in the outskirts of Kolkata, where he paints, sculpts and designs.
He has done props and sets for several plays and movies.
In his words :-
"I began searching for my idiom by exploring the media at my disposal, drawing from my experiences, my training and my life. Much of my early work involved the use of anthropomorphisms, using the simple shapes that are seen in rural Bengal art.
Tibetan ‘thankas’, and ‘pata’ paintings of old Bengal have also been a great source of inspiration. While in art school I studied the aesthetics of traditional art styles, combining their iconography with modern themes. The resultant works were exhibited at the SAIC undergraduate show held in the Sullivan Galleries in downtown Chicago.
I have moved towards a type of abstract expressionism in my new works that tend to strike hard at the conventional notions of propriety in form..Using spray-guns, acrylics, polyurethane gel, and pigment dispersions, I am trying to convey concept through the use of medium and processes, by taking the piece out of the realm of 'image' and creating a multi-sensorial experience.
Mixed media allows me great versatility and a richer experience for the viewer as the eye uncovers mutiple layers. I use found objects along with traditional artist media and my own created materials using dried paint, fabric and other found objects
.My recent processes involves collecting the refuse from the paint manufacturers to create scraps and pieces, that I process and use as collage, allowing me to push the dimensionality of my work as well as improvise around unpredictable forms.
There is a constant shift between abstraction and representation in my current work. Ideas of decadence, sexuality and consciousness run strongly through my images.
My more recent work has been heavily influenced by moving to the countryside, where ideas of unknowns and the visualizations of intangible forces/systems has become a point of focus."