Retracked, or retract as one might interpret the title, serves to archive as well as to relive the essence of what we were and are about.

On one level, it encompasses the state (India) as it stands in reference to today’s social and political climate and on another level, a personal journey of evolving . It’s about growing up with imbedded images of going to school or work and how distant it seems to me in my present lifestyle.

The Indian rail system, which inextricably linked the length & breadth of the country, long before air travel and email, is a part of all of us. The younger generation, as they have other options in modes of travel and communication, may not carry the same memories that I do of my youth – the innumerable journeys by trains, the smells and idiosyncrasies of every state & station we traversed. I wanted to relive those years.

The attitude in the paintings is more of ‘the observer’ than that of looking into a crystal ball, as with my surrealistic works in the past. It is also more passive than aggressive. I’ve always wanted to work on this theme and decided to do it now before the ever changing art scene moves away completely from realism into abstraction & conceptual art.

– Jaideep Mehrotra 2003