Artist EzhiIarasan E. says that he reads people and nature to draw inspiration for his works. The exhibition of his paintings begins in the city on Tuesday

‘No Object Necessary’ is how a two-week exhibition of paintings by Ezhilarasan E. is being described, and anyone who has seen his work will concur wholeheartedly. The artist from Puducherry has 26 works on display at La Gallery 360 in the city, and each of them represents a flash of inspiration translated on canvas as raw imagery.

He took up his brushes in his early college days, and has created close to 800 works in the years since. However, unlike many others in his field who perfect their work over days and months, Ezhilarasan

prefers to let the inspiration flow freely in a single burst, often finishing a work in a single sitting. "It is all about the moment, and it is that moment which has to be captured. A scenario that unfolds today cannot be exactly the same tomorrow, and even those minute changes, like the time of day, or the clothes people wear, are still changes. In order to avoid that I prefer letting the brush go where it wills until it is finished,” he says.

While the paintings would normally fall under the category of abstract art, Ezhilarasan has a different view of things. “I consider my work to be like my body. It is something that personal to me, and perhaps that is why it is labelled abstract. When I see something, it registers, and I may paint it years later. But it has some meaning to me, so I cannot call it abstract. It is something like how a language would seem to those who know it and those who do not,” he explains.

Having completed his masters degree in Painting from the Madras College of Art and then an M.Phil from Pondicherry University, he has since devoted his life to art and its appreciation. Like many a great artist, he is no stranger to the concept of a muse. “I was influenced a lot by the relationship I had with a French woman. She taught me to open up my boundaries and explore new things, instilling in me a love of travel that I have to this day. I have since crossed many states on my Bullet and the sights I saw then have inspired many later works. It was also since then that I began creating more original works rather than those inspired by other artists.”

The relaxed demeanour he exudes shifts to reveal a more playful one as he talks about his work 'See How They Are Enjoying', which features contributions from his nephew. "When we were younger, my brother and I used to work together on the same canvas a lot. One day I indulged my nephew in the same

manner and he drew on my canvas. I feel the work children do is a lot like my own, as they convey their true feelings through their scribbles and drawings. So I touched it up a little and kept it,” he reminisces with a smile.

Despite the many interesting shades to his paintings, the one aspect that is prominent in many of his later works is the canvas being divided in two by a line of stitches, which he explains is the influence of his wife, who hails from the city. "The stitches are meant to show the togetherness of two separate halves. We are all individuals, but when we share some things, thoughts, ideas and feelings, we become one. We are all capable of being separate or part of something more, and that is something my relationship with my wife taught me,” he says with a grin.

An artist, traveller, family man, and a philosopher to some extent. As his tales and explanations of his pictures wind to a close, one would expect he has shared his most impressive thoughts. But his most profound words as an artist are his concluding ones in answer to the question of his reading preferences.

He is remarkably straight faced as he answers: “I do read. I read nature, I read humans, I read myself.”

The exhibition start on August 7 and continues till August 21 at the La Gallery 360 premises at Nanthencode in the city.