M. Narayan’s works saw two diverse themes explored with colour

M. Narayan’s “Method in Madness”, which was on display at the Taj West End, takes up two broad themes — ethnic, which looks at rural life, and equestrian, covering horse racing and polo.

Charcoal is his most favoured medium for the theme of horses. He creates a series of strong portraits of horse racers, applying layers of expressionist black to create an imagery that conveys the sense of the powerful mid-race momentum composed of bold strokes, against a hazy background.

In smaller portraits, he applies dashes of bright colours, purple, red, blue or orange to the rider’s profile in bold strokes.

There is also an occasional watercolour where he takes up a similar approach to compose the image.

The equestrian series also includes profiles of polo players in their bright jerseys, sometimes locked in tussle over the strike.

Narayan’s imagery is neither completely realistic nor completely abstract — he conveys an accurate idea of his straightforward subject with his strokes, while retaining the artistry at the same time, both in terms of strokes and the application of colour.

Art, simplified

“I have done realistic works in my previous series. My work has now evolved to this simple and understandable style because, with experience, art becomes more simplified and abstract, and technique is something that is unique to each artist and comes with practise,” explains Narayan, a graduate of the Ken School of Art. He has been actively painting since 1991.

His “Ethnic” series also follows a similar style, but the imagery becomes more complex and layered against the colours.

These colours dominate the canvas as the imagery becomes visible against or through them.

“I want everybody who views my work to enjoy the experience. Bold, bright and dashing colours find their way into my work because I’m from a village in Karnataka so I see how colours are flaunted everywhere in villages in clothes, walls, doors, even headgear. I find these colours interesting, they inspire me.”

Colours are seen in the robes, the headgear and props and the objects and animals in the background of the village scenery, largely of fairs and markets, showing folk performers, brightly dressed women with bundles on their heads, or looking at objects in the market.

Another aspect of village life that Narayan depicts is conversation. Many of his paintings, both in charcoal and vivid colours depict groups of people engaged in conversation, in the same bold strokes or/and layers of colours.

Contact the artist on 66605660.