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  • Writer's pictureDilmit Singh

Smoke and Mirrors


Depicting abstract concepts through images is not a novel idea, and images tell stories. After having painted realistic pictures in both watercolor and oils and focusing on capturing the essence of a particular scene or an object, I’m finding manipulating abstract shapes to concretize ideas, a worthy challenge. The twenty-first century explosion of information and news has created a world that digitally manipulates our thoughts and ideas. This conundrum of where to look, what to focus on and who to trust is the inspiration for the watercolor piece, Smoke and Mirrors. It is my representation of an artfully deceptive world.

I used a dual color palette of blue and brown to depict smoke and mirrors. The integrated rectangular shapes with changes in tonal value allowed me to highlight the contrast between transparent and obscure knowledge. And now it is for the viewers to decide where the images take them.

Abstract works of art allow the artist to embody concepts that have universal appeal because shapes and colors can make a home in any appropriate space.

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Unknown member
Oct 03, 2021

Thanks, Kanwal!

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Unknown member
Oct 03, 2021

As always, meaningful and well written, Rajeev. Our memories and connections constantly add to the response and significance we attach to a piece of art or literature. Thanks for sharing.


Yes, many rhetorical questions...

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kumar.kanwal
kumar.kanwal
Sep 21, 2021

Absolutely Amazing!!

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rajeevn.mehra
Sep 21, 2021

Great thought of yours Dilmit to depict deception by mankind through “Smoke and Mirrors“.


Smoke is the deceiving element and the mirror is failing in trying to keep up its image of being ever truthfully depicting reality.


On a more mundane level the painting took me back to my childhood and my Nanaji’s home where there were two framed mirrors into which water had seeped. Perhaps they not being of very good quality, the mercury coating on them had deteriorated and hues of blue, brown, grey and tan had left behind a marble effect on them. Again not letting the mirror do its job of reflecting reality.


But then ain’t that the contemporary reality with so much…

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