Trained at M S University, Baroda and University of California, San Diego, USA and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, Praneet Soi (b. 1971) articulates his world view most strongly through his distorted human figures. Soi’s figures are not representations of reality but are filtered through myth, particularly Greek mythology, history of art and even images from media, or what he calls “found images.” This distancing allows him to construct his own narratives involving the figures.
What Soi brings to our view is the “humanist understanding”; Soi did study under Jean-Pierre Gorin, a collaborator with Jean-Kuc Goddard in the Dziga Vertov collective); he has internalized Gorin/Goddard’s epithet, “to make art politically…. as against making political art.” Soi’s references might be political but a personal narrative does emerge, which is not surprisingly, by his own admission, influenced by works of The Progressives, as well as the artists who worked in Santiniketan from the 40s to early 70s (particularly Nandalal Bose’s Haripura posters).
While a student in Baroda, it was the works of Ghulam Muhammed Sheikh and Bhupen Khakhar which inspired him. In many ways, Soi is trying to do what the generation of artists before him did – articulate a language which is both national and international.
Soi has been working on a series of Murals in Museums and contemporary art spaces in Europe and in India.