Art

Two professors from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath use the lockdown to create art

While A Sridhar Murthy has done a series of paintings to represent another planet, D Rajagopal finished three acrylic paintings, 15 pen drawings and an intricate Tanjore painting

The lockdown has meant more time for contemplation for artists. “Time is paramount for any artist,” says A Sridhar Murthy, Professor and Head of the Department of Graphic Art, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (CKP). “Thinking about a subject gets easier when we are forced to stay indoors.” Murthy has completed nearly a dozen paintings over the last two months.

Murthy pursued arts as he was “poor in general studies.” He joined KEN School of Arts, Seshadripuram and got a degree from CKP. He did his Masters of Fine Arts from Baroda. On his return to Bengaluru in 1991, he became a part of CKP Faculty.

“I am a contemporary artist. While I am mostly occupied with nature and landscapes, my works switch between the real and unreal.” Murthy, who can finish a piece in three to four hours, says introspection helps him “emerge with better ideas. From something as rudimentary as why should we create anything new when Nature is anyway replenishing the Earth, to people’s greed that has made us what we are, I spend hours immersed in my thoughts. Several frames emerge in the gallery of my mind, when I take out my brush.” Murthy has created a set of paintings representing another planet during the lockdown.

The 55-year-old, who has been teaching art for the last three decades, does not always include human figures in his work — rather he creates a human presence. One of his works shows an overburdened, devastated earth and a set of water bottles floating in another planet while another shows a pillar in a temple losing balance.

On his teaching methods Murthy says, “I have a sense of every student’s depth and background and suggest ideas based on that. Surface-level thinking will help them with illustrations, but deeper analysis will see them address subjects profoundly.”

Into several mediums

D Rajagopal, Assistant Professor and Head of Painting Department, CKP, was born in a farming family in Kudlu village on the outskirts of Bengaluru. He was attracted to nature and landscapes from childhood. “I often used to be in the fields with my father, and was always fascinated by my surroundings.”

Even before Rajagopal entered his PUC, he was observing every artist’s work in Kannada magazines. His favourite artist was Chandranath Acharya’s works in Sudha. “Observing me trace Acharya’s works diligently, my friend advised me to join CKP. I went for a degree course in 1984. I finished MFA and specialized in portraits. The founder-secretary of CKP, Nanjunda Rao hired me to teach at CKP in 1996.”

For Rajagopal, like any busy artist and teacher, making time to paint was increasingly difficult. “This lockdown gave me a breather and I have done three acrylic paintings and 15 pen drawings. One of my paintings, has been shortlisted by ICCR for its annual exhibition in New Delhi. My work in acrylic, a COVID-19 special, speaks of the stress created by humans and how the earth is taking revenge.”

Apart from paintings of nature, pen drawings of animals and textured work showing pebbles and rocks, Rajagopal also does traditional paintings. “I am happy I could complete my Tanjore painting, Krishna and his Friends. It is a vertical panel of 4 x 2 feet with intricate gold foil and semi-precious stone work.”

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:57:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/two-professors-from-ckp-use-the-lockdown-to-create-art/article31671231.ece

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