Paintings by renowned artist from Orissa, Kashinath Jena, on display recently at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, certainly deserved acclaim and appreciation. The 35 paintings by the artist depicting various forms of Radha and Krishna and Buddha, in the exhibition titled “Jenakriti”, were easy to comprehend and beautiful to look at. The blend of clear outline, vivid shapes and bright shades was at once appealing to the eye and could compel an onlooker to dwell on them.
While his Radha-Krishna series evoked the sensual lyricism of Gita Govinda, his Buddha collection depicted serenity and peace. The paintings were made using acrylic colours on canvas. A majority of them showed Krishna playing his bansuri along with Radha in idyllic surroundings.
“I have included cows in Krishna's and pigeons in Buddha's paintings in order to emphasise their characteristics,” explained the artist during a chat. All the works displayed at the exhibition were made between 2009 and 2010. “The theme of the paintings, Gita Govinda and Ratnagiri's Buddha are very close to me,” he said.
Jena's paintbrush has dabbled with subjects that are folk, traditional, narrative and modern. “I have always been interested in painting deities,” he said. The 63-year-old, whose works were displayed in Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, and in Mumbai's Lunier Art Gallery, Jahangir Art Gallery and Nehru Centre, said, “I have crossed the age where I will undergo experiments, hence I will continue painting deities.” His approach to art is colourful, and the artist gave a reason for it. “My paintings are an expression of happiness. I create them to celebrate bliss.”