Born in 1974 in Rajasthan, Dileep Sharma did his MFA in printmaking from Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. He has also participated in workshops and artists camps and has received many scholarships and awards.
Through the graphic medium, he elaborately keeps translating his experiences of object, subject, people, cultures, customs and traditions, periods and circumstantial emotions, on the various pieces of plate in which lie his intricate thoughts. During this process, he confronts elements, which do not identify themselves until they start appearing on his plate.
He finds the entire process of printmaking extremely engaging and refreshing. He says, "I always tend to get deeply involved in it with great zeal. New works introduce me to novel new thoughts which, when celebrated through the medium of print on paper, form new relations, thus introducing me to a visual self-portrait which I was earlier unaware of.
"I realize that, whenever I express my thoughts through this technique, I begin to know myself better and self-realization becomes intense. Just as the image of a person, place or culture, reveals a clearer picture after a few more transactions, similarly I put the plate in the mordant after drawing on it, remaining curious of the results. Meanwhile, the graphic and mordant astonish me with a dialogue they seem to have with each other. It is this, which leads to self-satisfaction!"
For him, the accomplishment of self-portrayal becomes an integral part of self-realization, enabling to experience the emotional facets inside him, which change with time and circumstances. In this way he has attempted to project a complete picture of 'myself by including these reflections in my self-portraits.'
The motifs in his work stand out as similes of his experiences of the place I belong to, further juxtaposed with his contemporary existence in an urban setting. This promising printmaker, was part of the Mumbai-Glasgow print Exhibition held jointly by Cymroza Art Gallery and the British Council in mid-2003. He narrated the transition of his life from one place to another, from one stage of life to the next.
Dileep Sharma's watercolors on paper were on view at Jehangir Art Gallery in September 2003. His very choice of 'Tattoo' for the new collection exposes the drama the media creates in the minds of youngsters who are in awe of glamour. The artist here hopes to make a point about tattooing that has been a part of our culture since centuries, but has acquired status as a fashion accessory only recently.
Two essentials in Dileep Sharma's new body of work are role-playing and gaming. The artist is sole protagonist of his own narratives, although the protagonist might necessarily be like him at all! To the artist playing a role as a character is not restricted to the work but must be simulated 'within your lifestyle.' He quips to say, "There is no point in drawing a lonely romantic unless you are one."
The role-playing apart, the gaming is however much restricted to the choice of motifs and symbols. With 'Tattoo', the artist enters a 'new game' that he plays with his own imagery. He would draw a figure in one work with images from his previous works tattooed onto it. The next work however would see the same image figure as a tattoo on another composition. To him this creates a never-ending continuum.
The artist currently lives and works in Mumbai.