Deepak Kumar @ Artists Crossing Boston


Text Written By Maria Napolitano


Last month I had the pleasure of visiting downtown Boston’s best-kept secret, Artists Crossing, which was showing a vibrant and thoughtful exhibit by Deepak Kumar. Kumar’s background in microbiology fuels his work coupled with his awareness of the larger perspectives he can take with his art; his photographs range from tranquil scenes and portraits to careful examinations of color – or a muted expression of it.


On one end of his exhibit’s spectrum, Kumar’s photographs bring the viewer detailed studies in vivid color and light. Jumping Spider and his portraits of resting butterflies pay strict attention to their subjects, but in various settings: the butterflies are carefully edited to dominate the foreground of the photos with their rich wings while the arachnid sits poised atop its own reflection in full color. These photographs hang in contrast to Biker and July 4th; distant snapshots of quotidian life in black and white and more muted color palettes, respectively. Kumar guides the viewer from the micro examinations to more familiar scales, hues, and content, but then continues to zoom out until he frames the serene Moon in Winter: a grey-scale image that is already accurate in a subdued color scheme. But beside the progression from astronomical to minuscule stills Kumar distracts the viewer with a dynamic centerpiece. Tree of Life stands apart from the still images, a suspended instant of motion and color. Powerful and engaging in its own right; its energetic composition stands out particularly as a part of this exhibit, and its motion centers the range of images in the gallery.  Tree of Life is an exuberant snapshot of motion frozen in time, surrounded by calm and deliberate images that remain still even in life.


Kumar shows a modern awareness and a mature sense of space in his work. With a classical respect and distance from his subjects he is careful not to overly distort or unnecessarily edit his images. Instead he carefully directs his viewer’s attention in each cleanly composed frame. He uses color and setting wisely from his micro to macro images, and explores both clear settings and images in the abstract without overwhelming the viewer.  Exploring natural images in and out of their larger and typical contexts allows him to investigate the inherent features of each subject as well as its connection to a larger and more familiar setting. Kumar’s exhibit is straightforward and accessible, but not simplistic. The variety in terms of subject and energy does not make for a disjointed exhibit. Instead, Kumar displays a cohesive and stimulating set of photographs reminiscent of the heterogeneous images his viewers may encounter each and every day.


GET THERE:  Take the Red Line to Downtown Crossing.


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