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One show, many images

Slices of life come alive in Makesh's works

YOU ARE almost tempted to get closer to the deep pathway in the forest and enter the village. Only when you do that do you realise it is a mixed stroke painting. Slices of life, captured in all their detail, are artist Chokkalingam. A's (Makesh) forte. And, that is what is celebrated in his ongoing one-man show at the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust Art Gallery on Avanashi road.

"It is `expression art' and the focus is on giving life to expressions. In oil paintings, more colours are used to highlight each area," Chokkalingam says.

Explaining his work of a galloping horse, he says: "In this, I have used a lot of colours like a darker shade of black for the eyes, brown for the body to show movement and green to show sharpness of trees and the bushes. Like a goldsmith, you get the exact design only when you start digging for details."

Variety of forms

Landscapes come alive in the painter's works. Be it the semi-abstract scenery in oil or his acrylics, all find a place in the exhibition space. "The semi-abstract scenery can be turned into a `fine' painting. It can also be toned down to look like a fully abstract piece," he adds.

These works can't be categorised. The artist gets close to his idea of abstraction in nature and plays around with mythological creatures with his idiosyncratic application of colour. He also breaks up his composition into geometric shapes, filling them with decorative figures. "Triangular pieces of broken glass have been used in an abstract `horse painting'. Other shapes have also been used to bring out a `elephant family' on oil paint."

Landscapes and flowers dominate Chokkalingam's exhibition, which features over 50 paintings. As you walk around, an oil painting of a deer catches your attention. Its horns look different. "It is mixed media work. A mix of Plaster of Paris and oil painting has been used for the effect," he adds. Other displays include an oil work of village life, embossed paintings and a portrait of the late M.S. Subbulakshmi with details about her life history. There are also portraits of live models in watercolour. In one of the works, you can sight an old lady with a child and sadness writ all over her face.

Chokkalingam is an alumnus of the Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakonam, and is a teacher at the Kadri Mills Higher Secondary School in Ondipudur. He also teaches art at workshops conducted by the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust.

About the awareness level of art in Coimbatore, he says: "It has improved. People are now able to identify and appreciate the effort that goes into every piece."

When asked about the easiest medium for painting, he says: "There are various levels in painting from pencil sketching to water colour to poster colour to acrylic and oil. Oil painting is the highest level and needs finesse."

The exhibits range between Rs. 350 and Rs. 5, 000. The show is on till January 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For details, contact: 2574110.


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