Born in the hills of Dadra Pahadi in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, Virendra Maurya is a multi-faceted visual artist, whose practice ranges from luminism and installation, to paintings and prints. He was part of KHOJ‘s Peers Residency in 2018, where his work, inspired by Khirkee and its suffocating architecture, questioned the various aspects of desire and freedom. Virendra completed his BFA from Benaras Hindu University followed by his MFA from Hyderabad Central University. He was brought up in a family of farmers, surrounded by nature, which connected him to the values of the environment, an experiential inspiration to be seen in his practice. A sense of belongingness to nature – be it to our villages, to land, or to our states and geographies – is what Virendra illustrates with his complex canvases that traverse various surfaces.
Virendra’s oeuvres are often inspired by the surrounding landscapes of wherever he may be. His experiences have given him the opportunity to observe nature upfront – the constant cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Similar to Jackson Pollock’s vigorously spontaneous drips, also called “action paintings”, that feature spontaneous movement through seemingly chaotic marks, Virendra’s works feature a sense of constant movement and motion. Every stroke on the canvas consciously conveys his experiences of pain and violence. Virendra is inspired by artists like Anselm Kiefer and he uses unconventional and diverse materials innovatively for his work . He is also influenced by Arte Povera. Maurya’s materials are drawn from his long observational walks which often end with a burst of creative inspiration. His installation work often comprises found objects, wood, stone, paper pulp, industrial material, etc.
He currently resides in Benaras where he is continuing his exploratory art practice. An illustrator for online games, he is what one could call a conceptual artist, a traditional painter and a participant in the labour for the Digital.