As an observer and chronicler of the city, Schön Mendes is intrigued by the contrasts and similarities playing out in an Indian metropolis. The myriad fragments of urban existence, characterized by a coexistence of the strange and the unexpected alongside the ordinary and the mundane, serve as his persistent preoccupation. And while he paints of the outward lives of people, he is also keenly interested in their inner experience of living in a bustling city. Mendes, in his large-format paintings, freezes narratives of both individual and collective experiences on the static, two-dimensional surface of his canvas. His compositions nevertheless capture the movement, activity and pulse of an urban environment. It is through this conjuring of sights and interactions, that he evokes the charm and chaos, joys and vulnerabilities, memories and imagination associated with an urban landscape.
In his more recent works, Mendes has deconstructed urbanity through a twofold reflective gaze: firstly by employing illusive surfaces such as mirrors or glass windows, which transforms the viewer into a voyeur, and secondly, by evoking the conceptual idea of a reflection as an apparent mirror into the elusive interior self. He probes the making of reality by embarking on a journey through reflections - echoes that may or may not be real.
Born in 1987 in Goa, Mendes acquired a degree in Mass Communication in 2008. After a stint as an Assistant Producer in Mumbai, he moved to Baroda to pursue his passion for art, where he studied at The Collective Studio Baroda under the tutelage of Rekha Rodwittiya and Surendran Nair in an alternative non-institutional program from 2009 to 2016. He had a successful debut at Sakshi Gallery in 2016. His work is held in important collections the world over.
Mendes continues to live and work in Baroda.