Photo Focus: Under the Cover of Darkness

This month I decided to focus on the photographic work of Dhruv Malhotra. Malhotra is a Delhi based photographer I discovered on the Photo Ink Gallery website. I was drawn to his work because he photographs the city at night. For me the Indian landscape photographed at night is more real. The edges are softened; looking at the photographs I can feel the breeze of the city night. From my foreigners perspective these photographs capture the real India, the India I want to return to again and again.

Malhotra’s first body of work Noida Soliloquy, is a document of the mundane, focusing the viewers “attention on the in-between spaces of the aspiring metropolis” (Soma Das, The Mid-Day Mumbai, March 25, 2013). The project includes photographs of street barriers, water towers, and grave stones. These photographs have a calmness about them as the colors are exaggerated from the long exposures.

In his second body of work, Sleepers, Malhotra switches his focus from the overall landscape to sleeping figures within it. These photographs also extend beyond one geographic location as they were shot in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Goa, and Kolkata. All of the photographs in this body of work show people sleeping outside. Some are sleeping outside because they live on the streets while others are sleeping outside working as security guards. The sleepers are never the dominate figure in the frame, the viewer has to pay close attention to see some of them. In an interview with Karolle Rabarison with, Malhotra says the sleepers are a metaphor for himself and the world around him (April 29, 2013).

Malhotra grew up in Jaipur, Rajasthan and earned an Economics degree from Mumbai University before exploring photography. He is an insomniac which is why he chooses to photograph at night. Now he splits his time between Jaipur and Delhi.

By |2016-11-10T18:18:42-05:00May 21st, 2015|Photo Focus|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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