Jagannath uses simple and seemingly direct imageries painted in a naturalistic palette where he portrays the mundane as picturesque. In his works animals become extensions of humans wherein the human behavioural patterns are transplanted onto the animals. His works symbolize the nature of his interests, an artist who is socially conscious and believes in his role.
He engages with diverse themes, concerns and emotions – for instance - death and desire, social injustice, social and economic inequalities, issues of urbanization and dislocation, shifts in cultural and religious paradigms are few of them. The themes, he addresses in his works, come from his avaricious curiosity and his own methodologies and spirit. In his recent works the imagery operating in the paintings has been elaborated into sculptures.
Coming from a Brahmin Vaishnav family of Puri, Jagannath has incorporated certain religious imageries/ chromolithographic images of gods and goddesses but in a subversive manner.
He also depicts the contradictory, clearly demarcated spaces through the violently harsh contrasts that become a site of his own discord and inner turmoil.
For Jagannath, “The work is something to do with a desire to manifest a conflict between knowledge and faith. For me mind is a non-figurative and non-defined space capable of figuring memories, experiences and their related journeys in space across diverse cultural locations separating culture from artefact or recognising art in artefact, thus recreating societal concerns and human values.”
Jagannath completed his BFA from B K College of Art & Craft, Bhubaneshwar in 1991 and MFA from M S University in 1994. He was a visiting researcher at Fukuoka University of Education, Fukuoka, Japan in 1997 and completed MFA in Sculpture from Royal College of Arts London in 2002.
The Artist lives and works in Delhi.