Art

Vincent S’ painting exhibition in Thiruvananthapuram attempts to show how man is his own enemy

In multiple media, such as acrylic, charcoal, pen and ink and oil pastel, Vincent aims to capture through 100-odd works how greed, power, callousness and sheer brutality boomerang on man

There’s an explosion of shades of orange and yellow. ‘Man’ is engulfed by hungry tongues of flames that, ironically, he himself set off. The bright acrylic work, from the Fire series, is part of the collection of paintings and drawings by Vincent S on display at the Museum Art Gallery.

“The painting is meant to signify how we are our own destroyers. The raging fire is just a symbol. Take for instance, the Amazon fire or war in today’s context. Such destruction is man-made,” says Vincent, adding that he attempts to get to “the roots of human behaviour” through his art. Another work from the series shows abstract human faces barricaded in by a network of barbed wires against the background of pervasive blaze.

A painting by Vincent S

A painting by Vincent S   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In multiple media, such as acrylic, charcoal, pen and ink and oil pastel, Vincent aims to capture through 100-odd works on display how greed, power, callousness and sheer brutality boomerang on man who “eventually becomes the victims of their own makings.” This toxicity of human behaviour appears in the form of serpents as a visual leitmotif in many of the pieces. Vincent says the exhibition comprises paintings done during “two phases” of his life, during the late 80s as a fine arts student and then after 2014.

A painting by Vincent S

A painting by Vincent S   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A highlight is the ‘new media’ pieces that are a creative amalgamation of brushstrokes and craftwork. One of them, from the Fire series, makes use of painted crinkled paper, broken matchsticks and red LED lighting to call attention to the exigency of the state of affairs. Another one depicts a Buddha figure on which glass shards glued together make up the face.

“Whoever looks at the painting will see his/her own distorted face. The idea is to prompt self-reflection. You may not be really what you think you are,” says Vincent, a Kanjiramkulam native. Themes of life cycle, pain, safety, identity, loneliness and self-awareness find expressions in some of his abstract paintings and smaller sketches in pencil, pen and ink, charcoal and so on.

A painting by Vincent S

A painting by Vincent S   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

His experimental “3D painting” is stark, both in its effect and the message it conveys. Based on the Cyclone Ockhi disaster, it’s a “two-layer” work with a transparent, liftable acrylic sheet bearing sombre artwork signifying chaos and destruction placed over the main painting. “One just needs to lift the veil to see how beautiful things were,” says the 62-year-old. Some of the works emphasise the need to understand our surroundings and preserve it, not just for the present but for the sake of posterity too.

A painting by Vincent S

A painting by Vincent S   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Vincent says he chooses not to title his works — in fact, the exhibition itself does not take one — to let the viewers form their own interpretations. “The language of art cannot be contained in restrictive titles or descriptions,” he adds.

The exhibition is on at the Museum Art Gallery till November 3. Timing: 10 am to 6 pm

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:53:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/vincent-s-painting-exhibition-in-thiruvananthapuram-attempts-to-show-how-man-is-his-own-enemy/article29852089.ece

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