A celebration of colours
An exhibition of paintings, `Celebration with Pain(t)s', by Hariom, at the Chitraniketan Art Gallery, showcased contemporary art.
IT IS the love for art that prompts Hariom to experiment and celebrate with colours.
His corpus of paintings, `Celebration of Pain(t)s', exhibited at the Chitraniketan Art Gallery, depict figures, which stand out against the multiple coats of paint. "The paint is scratched away over certain portions to emphasise the texture. I do not decide on what to paint; the forms take shape as the work progresses," says Hariom.
His colour palette includes hues such as earth-fired yellow, rusty orange, sombre blue and deep red. Abstract forms of human beings and nature are a recurrent motif in his works. Be it oil, Indian ink or acrylic on canvas, human relationships and emotions have remained central to his works.
Just where do these renderings of life fit in? "I attempt to transfer my observations of life and people onto my canvas. I depict the changing world through my work," says the painter.
His paintings are not `modern' but contemporary in keeping with the changing style in art the world over, he says.
"I hate repetition," he states. "I take care not to repeat myself in my paintings. But I do dwell upon the relationships between man and woman, the pain and grief that is an undeniable part of life."
One of his paintings depicts a mentally retarded child perplexed by the world around her. Another painting shows a man at the receiving end of a woman's wrath and yet another piece reflects the angst of a woman.
Over eight years ago, Hariom started a gallery to promote the up-and-coming artists. Constant interaction with artists from different parts of the world inspired Hariom to take up painting as a vocation. It was during this time that the artist, Jayapala Panicker, had been conducting classes for those with an artistic bent.
The world of colours beckoned and Hariom joined Jayapala Panicker's classes. "I soon realised painting was my calling. I wish to be known as a painter though it may sound odd when almost every `painter' is being addressed as an `artist' these days," says Hariom.
It was when he stepped into the world of contemporary art that he decided to give up his name A. D. Harilal and instead adopt the name Hariom. This is the name by which he is known among the artist fraternity.
Hariom has also been organising `art residency' to promote art tourism.
About the `residency' he says, "Artists from abroad are invited to stay here for a month during which they paint and exhibit their work in the State."
Artists abroad find it easier to obtain funds for their travel unlike in India. "The up-and-coming artists in Kerala are rarely encouraged by the State. They do not even have adequate venues to exhibit their works," bemoans Hariom.
Since 1994, the Chitraniketan Art Gallery, run by Hariom has been showcasing the works of artists not only in the State but also abroad. Artists who have visited Hariom's gallery include veteran M. F. Hussain and Yusuf Arakkal. "Hussain's strokes are bold and the energetic manner in which he paints is fascinating. I admire Arakkal's style and `treatment' of his paintings," says Hariom who also draws inspiration from the works of masters like Van Gogh, Cezanne and Clay Paul.
The painter has held four solo exhibitions and participated in three group shows in cities like Bangalore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Though he has often been tempted to shut down his gallery due to the difficulties in running it, he has never been able to do so.
"We've been asked to vacate this building and I'm on the lookout for a new place for my gallery," says Hariom.
A self-taught photographer, Hariom has been an avid collector of artworks. His collection includes works by artists like C. N. Karunakaran, T. K. Padmini, G. Rajendran and Jayapala Panicker.
At one time, Harilom's life as a tax assistant with the Income Tax Department revolved around taxes and rebates. Today, his world revolves around colours, textures and forms.
Photos: S. Gopakumar
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