Nikhil Chaganlal's paintings have individual style and vision.His themes are resolutely Indian and yet not so. They are mystical in a sense that one is awed by such a personal strength of vision. Working around three major subjects, the pantheon of Indian deities, interiors and couples/embraces, he continues to mine the depths of his instinct.Nothing is as one might expect.In his god series, the gods are presented in a very personal and human manner. They are almost human and physical, their hair in long snaking tendrils, matted with flowers, blue, mauve, of color, with eyes penetrating deep into one's soul, haunting us with their urgency of divinity. Their androgynous faces are beautiful to gaze upon. These gods are Nikhil's gods. He represents them as he sees and feels them, not according to standard models. They can be recognized by their symbols and styles, but that is where the common depictions end and Nikhil's visions begin.
The interiors are also known as Nikhil's "Moments after I left the room".They are reminiscent of the work of Pierre Bonnard, the French artist who painted in the post-symbolist era of modern art, but whose work was highly personal featuring many views of his house in the country. Nikhil's interiors are like strange dream views of civilized home settings. Everything is proper but slightly skewed. They are gently decadent and very hypnotic, European and, yet, there is an indefinable sense of 'Indian' about the scenes...memories of childhood? Well-brought up but disheveled and falling to pieces a little. They truly mesmerize one on continued study.
The couples and "Embrace" series are all suffused with an erotic charge that is rare to see in any contemporary art, let alone Indian contemporary art. These beings are in the throes of electric passion and physical connection. They are not simulating their energy and desire, but have been caught in the very bounds of ecstasy itself, the body colors often signifying their rush of passion.