``My aim is to show purity, reality in human beings''

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Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao

I didn't mean to hurt anybody's sentiments: Chandramohan

MULUG (WARANGAL): Painter Srilamanthula Chandramohan has decided to work on mythology, a specialisation he chose during his post-graduation days at MS University, Baroda, in spite of the controversy generated by his works.

"My aim is to show the purity, truth and reality in human beings using the images of god and goddesses. I did not mean to hurt anybody's sentiments," he told The Hindu in an exclusive interview after returning to his home in Madanapalli village of Mulug mandal.

Mr. Chandramohan was at the centre of a storm earlier this month after fundamentalists resorted to violence, protesting against the use of images of Hindu gods and goddesses as also the Cross during his final year master's course in fine arts at Maharaja Sayaji Rao University as part of the dissertation. At their instance, he was sent to jail but was released on bail four days later.

He said 20th Century art was difficult to understand, as it was more non-figurative and abstract. Artists were, however, trying to simplify their work as much as possible.

Yet it could not be understood by everyone unless one had the eye to appreciate it. "According to my teachers and fellow students, the visual appearance of my works is very good."

Asked why he chose Hindu images, he said it was his specialisation and he wanted to explore something new.

"My investigation for truth and purity as a painter is like an investigation that of a scientist. I will go beyond and see. I want to know what is wrong with my paintings as my concept is altogether different."

Disagreeing with the argument that he had hurt sentimentsof some people, he said he chose to work on images that were powerful.

He declined to elaborate on this point on the ground the matter was sub judice.

He said he was undeterred by the storm that his works created and wished to soon settle down either in Mumbai or New Delhi after receiving his university degree.

Among his 15 paintings displayed at MS University, three related to images of Hindu Gods a sculpture and two graphics paintings: an image of Vishnu titled `the beautiful vexation' and the other of Goddess Durga titled `Durga slaying crustacean.'

Mr. Chandramohan, who did his bachelor's degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, said the MS University had a good academic environment.

He was supported by his family with its limited means, besides the faculty and friends all through the crisis.

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