Nikhil Chopra’s La Perle Noire is a Journey

“My garden will burst into bloom when you come.” Mahjoor

On the edge of what seemed like an everlasting pink landscape, like the curves of a daffodil’s shape, was a secret I was let in on.

I looked to the canvas to answer my queries. Scanning the swirls and thickness of the lines, La Perle Noire gave me a sensation of letting something pass me by.

I was staring at the aftermath of a more than 50-hour drawing performance by Nikhil Chopra that took place in both FOFA Gallery and Jarry Park in Montreal.

The size suggested endlessness: an infinite quality that paper and line can only suggest; somehow this piece proved with a trail. At the end of this trail you hope to find your magician, Chopra, the one who led you here on his bike caravan, with his cloth spread across the window spaces of the park’s octagon gazebo, providing the background of this drawing. This gazebo, as well as the park itself, was Chopra’s home for three days.

Much like the result of a magic trick, La Perle Noire is what now stands after Chopra’s occupation. It is delineated by connections between multiplicity and exoticism. Its scarcity in content and the schemas that Chopra frequently deals with in his work that are drawn in a premodern style.

The medium used for this piece is lipstick, accentuating a distinct choice in non-typical artistic tools and giving it a flowery, sensual, exotic, and bold ambience. While this piece had covered multiple spatial environments, it also expanded on a variety of practices, incorporating performance, drawing, painting, theater and live arts. The magic found within La Perle Noire is that of the journey through space, conventions, and the nonnative.

Exhibition: La Perle Noir // Until Oct. 23 // 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. // FOFA Gallery’s main space (1515 Ste. Catherine St. W.) // Free

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