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Vibrant portraits

Rural folk and their daily activities fascinate artists M. Rama Suresh and K.R. Santhana Krishnan, whose works are on show at Studio Palazzo till August 15.

YOUNG ARTISTS M. Rama Suresh and K.R. Santhana Krishnan view life from different perspectives, which have been translated on canvas. The paintings are called "Visions of India". If Rama Suresh looks at people and their activities, Santhana Krishnan tries to delve into people's lives by observing their dwellings. Both these artists have a keen sense of observation and are interested in depicting life as it is. With the deft handling of the palette knife, Suresh brings alive scenes of rural life from various parts of India, specially Rajasthan and Gujarat. Colourfully clad women are shown going about their daily chores like bringing water or working on the fields. Men are seen taking bullocks to the fields, driving hay-laden carts and so on. Suresh is able to capture expressions of the poeple well, using vibrant hues.

The same vibrancy is noticed in the vast flower-filled landscapes. The golden sunflowers, the red poppy blooms and the multi-coloured asters make one want to take a long walk through these fields and enjoy Nature's bounty, while at the same time call out to people to care for the environment.

The paintings of Santhana Krishnan concentrate on doors, particularly the front doors of old fashioned houses in his native Kumbakonam, Chennai, Rajasthan and Kolkata. The doors and what is seen through the partly open ones, tell us many stories about the people living inside. The open courtyard inside a south Indian home surrounded by a pillared verandah, the vessels, the clothes drying in the open and everything lit by the bright sunlight, are depicted in detail. Similar attention has been paid to details of homes in the North. Some paintings have been framed like a door, adding a realistic touch. The grills, the fanlight above the double-doors, one of which is open, are all quite impressive. Santhana Krishnan's attention to the colours of the doors and the inside walls and other objects heightens the effect. The walls next to the front doors reflect the culture of the region as well as invasion of multinationals, such as the cola advertisement painted on the wall. In one work, the artist has created a typical Gujarati style embossing with mirror inlays, while in another is a folk mural of Rajasthan.

The works M. Rama Suresh and K.R. Santhana Krishnan are on show at the Studio Palazzo, 9, Seethamma Road, Alwarpet, till August 15, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


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