Raghav Babbar (b. 1997, Rohtak, India) is a young figurative artist who seamlessly weaves his Indian heritage with techniques reminiscent of mid-20th century British art, and presents an intensely personal and evocative body of work. Through his skilled and patient application of oil paint, Babbar creates captivating textures and compositions. His paintings are a testament to his meticulous layering, a process that requires both time and an unwavering dedication to building up each stroke with a rich and vibrant palette.
Babbar renders a profound connection with his subjects through his work. Drawing inspiration from friends, family, and everyday individuals living their lives within India's diverse society, he captures their emotional depth with empathy and sensitivity. "I am mostly interested in the emotional side and human expressions," Babbar explains. He believes that the strongest expressions, even the simplest ones, hold the key to understanding and celebrating the true essence of the characters he portrays. Babbar's subjects are often found in their solitary moments, allowing their genuine emotions to shine through.
The interplay of light and shadow is a significant element in Babbar's work, as he distinctively employs daylight settings to add depth and drama to his landscapes. The play of raking sunlight creates evocative shadows, further enhancing the emotional resonance within his compositions. Through this careful manipulation of light, Babbar transports viewers into intimate and contemplative worlds, where ordinary moments take on extraordinary significance. Through his skilful brushwork, Babbar immortalises the beauty of ordinary life, inviting viewers to appreciate the simplicity and profound emotions that often go unnoticed. He creates bridges between cultures and speaks to the universal language of art, leaving an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene.
Born in Rohtak, a city near Delhi, he found inspiration during his extensive travels through Uttarakhand and Sikkim, the Northern states abutting Tibet and the Himalayas, where he was profoundly influenced by the area’s spirituality, its people, and his discovery of his own heritage. After studying at the prestigious Lasalle College of Art in Singapore, Babbar gained recognition through his participation in exhibitions, including a notable group exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art of Singapore. In 2022, he commenced his Master of Fine Arts at the Royal College of Art in London.
Today, Raghav Babbar resides and works in London. His profound ability to blend his Indian heritage with painterly expression results in a captivating body of work that celebrates the human experience.