Art

Artist George R and his romance with colours

George R with some of his paintings

George R with some of his paintings   | Photo Credit: Liza George

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George R’s canvases come alive in a kaleidoscope of hues

George R seems to be romancing colours in his paintings titled ‘Breath’. In fact, the collection seems to travel the entire curve of the rainbow.

George’s collection comprises 16 oil paintings. The paintings, which took him three years to complete, are numbered in order of creation and every one of them is prefixed with the term ‘Breath’.

With its pleasing hues, the canvases are not only a balm to the soul and eyes but are also meditative in nature. Dark and bright tints blend; each painting operating within a spectrum of complementary tones. There are no visible forms on the canvases and the fine, vertical strokes and horizontal sweeps are easy to miss as one gets immersed in the colourful, abstract world. Looking closer one notices how the colours fill the canvases and merge with one another to flawlessly arrive at another texture.

A painting by George R

A painting by George R   | Photo Credit: Liza George

As one goes through the collection, one can’t help but wonder if ‘breath’ is symbolic of how we are all connected; after all we all breathe the same air. Turns out, I am not too far off from what was going through the artist’s mind. “Breath is an organic continuation of my previous series of paintings called ‘Origin’,” he says.

If ‘Origin’ was a search of what constitutes our self, ‘Breath’ is a sort of a search for the other, a way for the self and the other to meet and become a whole. “People, these days, are divided, not just by walls and fences but also by religion, cast, political views…, even gadgets and hence communication between people is decreasing. Breath however, still remains the same; it is something that connects us all, something all of us share, though not consciously. I believe there is a communication even in the breath we share and that it constitutes the other.”

An alumnus of College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum, George says he has titled the paintings ambiguously as he wants his works to be open to interpretation by the viewers. “I am from the school of thought that believes that a painter should not be a mediator for the canvas and the viewer. Instead the viewer should connect with the painting on his own, drawing meaning from his own experiences, thoughts and emotions. I want my viewers to ponder and wonder.”

A painting by George R

A painting by George R   | Photo Credit: Liza George

The artist says that although canvases are white, he always starts his works by applying a coat of white on it to bring it life. “When I paint, my mind is still. Yes, I may have a theme or a thread of thought in mind but when I pick up my brush, there are no thoughts or ideas in my head. I seem to enter a different realm and it’s my brush that leads me as I apply layers upon layers of colours.”

And no, the shades he chooses are not symbolic. “Like I said, when I paint I am a puppet, something takes over me and I paint. I paint until I instinctively feel that the work in front of me is fine. Till then I don’t bother whether the colours blend with each other or not or if I want a particular colour to stand for something,” says this former BSNL employee, who has held several solo exhibitions in the State over the years. A poet, George has published four anthologies of poems and is all set to release the next. “I will also be starting work on my next set of paintings.”

‘Breath’ is at Kerala Lalithakala Academy Art Gallery, Vyloppilly Samskriti Bhavan, until March 17.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:18:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/artist-george-rs-canvases-come-alive-in-a-kaleidoscope-of-hues/article26521089.ece

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