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|Arunima : A Celebration
|8'X10' Oil on Canvas
I have been painting for more than 20 years
now. I have painted on canvas, on paper, on photographs, on wood, on glass, and even on a body! I have been trained as a painter
in the Delhi School of Art and have had the privilege of working on solo exhibitions across several countries and with several
people in the course of my career.
People come to me and ask :
What do your paintings mean?;, or ;How do I appreciate your art?;. Alas, there is no formula that I am aware of. The meaning,
if any, is within you, the viewer. ;its a function of your own experiences. Often the meaning is wordless. I am reminded of
a zen koan the zen master keeps filling the cup of tea for his pupil until it overflows and more. The pupil says, Stop master..
it is full, it cannot take any more; to which the master responds, Yes, and until you empty it, there would not be any space
for more. So, empty your self. Take some time and view the work. If there is something which haunts you, look deeply. Maybe
there is something you find -?
The experience, or impact, is
what I attempt to paint. As I experience life in its many forms, there are some moments which leave their own indelible impact
on me. A visual impact, a presence which haunts me until I have exorcised it by putting my brush to the canvas. Each of my
works has its own moment of association and raison dÍtre. I paint to relate my inner self, my space, to this association.
My invitation to my audience is to allow just that much space
to view, or relate to, a canvas so that the painting of a tree isn't just bark and leaves, so that the sea isn;t a body of
water. Maybe you discover the lushness within the tree, or, perhaps the depth of a soul within the sea. This may not necessarily
be the moment I had in mind when I painted, it may just be your own moment. Perhaps there is a subliminal association.
Yes, there is always the other way of appreciation of Art.
Is the hand in proportion to the head? Does the face look real? Or surreal? Is the colour-scheme appealing? Is the theme in
appealing?; ;its a long list...In fact, I've written a series of books on this subject. But to see only this is to see the
form and not the content.
Ever noticed it when you go
to a gallery, view a painting and feel entranced? Why is it that we spend so much time in appreciating that one piece in the
entire show? We say, 'This painting strikes me'without knowing fully why.
Perhaps there has been a wordless association of a memory which has made you relate to the same visual as the artist?
This response, when evoked, is my greatest reward as an artist. That's when I know that I am successful.