Ravi Paarthasarathy debuts with solo show of poignant portrayals

If passion for art is more important for a painter than professional qualification, then Ravi Paarthasarathy has lots of it. In his maiden solo show in the city recently, the self-taught artist tried to capture moments of rural people at leisure.

Generally, rural people are portrayed as lively characters. . But their fatigue caught his eyes. “I noticed a man resting on a bench after the day’s work. There was no sign of relaxation. He was in pensive mood which I depicted in one of my paintings, ,” explains Mr. Ravi Paarthasarathy, who titled his show “The silence of the strokes.”

He used different imageries with judicious mix of colours to bring out the stark reality. The lush green pastures are in total contrast to the dull and barren look of the central character. The grass on the field sways violently to reflect the turbulent mind of the person. Pleasant surroundings have little impact on the worker worried about the future. Another painting brings to light the ecstatic moment of a person playing drums. “The power of art is such that it embraces, engulfs and transfers you to a state of ecstasy. I experienced that feeling after watching a Kerala drumbeater perform at a national convention in Puducherry. The performer was in his elements and won many hearts with his skill,” he elaborates.

Liberal use of bright colours such as yellow and green dominate his paintings. He calls them ‘Dravidian colours’. “They are vibrant colours and I use them to portray different emotions. Yellow is used to depict the warmth while green symbolises wealth and prosperity,” he says.

The neck portion of the main character also plays a significant role in his paintings. He uses neck to project the personality of the person. In some works, it is pronounced while in some it is totally missing. Neck is more evident in his paintings on war themes, especially in one sketch where two swordsmen clash with each other.

He draws inspiration from Van Gogh’s works and has successfully transferred the influence to his drawings. His pet themes are menial workers, different art forms and war. At present, he is busy working on the theme of war in Ramayana and also plans to host an exhibition in Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai.