Ranbir Singh Kaleka was born in Patiala, Punjab, in 1953. He studied painting at the College of Art, Punjab University in Chandigarh, and subsequently took on a teaching assignment at the Punjabi University and College of Art in New Delhi. He later obtained his Master’s degree in painting from the Royal College of Art in London.
Kaleka’s paintings, both on paper and canvas, in oils as well as mixed media, are almost surrealist in their treatment of scenes from everyday life. The lines are suggested, rather than sharply traced, and the colours almost deliberately restrained. Kaleka’s interest in cinema also lead to the advent of his video art, where he explores the effects of combining the physicality of the painted image with an image made out of light. The result is a ‘sort of hyperimage’, which achieves an intensity and subtlety of colour, and imbues the static with a sense of movement through the superimposition of sound and movement. The artist’s movement into video art has been an essential endeavor for his further exploration of the ‘psychological event’, an event that can only take place outside the physical confines of the frame of the painting, through the usage of light to create the image and the subsequent aura of the image. Kaleka has also created and exhibited photographs and installations.
The artist’s work has been widely exhibited in India and abroad.