When Mani Ratnam unveiled a princely painting

Archana Karunakaran’s first solo art exhibition showcases people, emotions, and sculptures in varied styles

April 22, 2022 05:51 pm | Updated 05:51 pm IST

Artist Archana with director Mani Ratnam

Artist Archana with director Mani Ratnam | Photo Credit: Saravanan Natarajan

Arulmozhi Varman — the charming prince of the Chola Dynasty and the central character of the classic ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ — stares out of a larger-than-life canvas at an ongoing art exhibition. Archana Karunkaran, a dentist and self-taught artist, has displayed 32 paintings at her first solo art show that was inaugurated by director Mani Ratnam and Suhasini Maniratnam on Thursday evening in Chennai. “I have a Ponniyin Selvan painting and he [Mani Ratnam] is currently working on the movie Ponniyin Selvan: I. We connected over that,” says Archana, adding that the couple liked her work and also bought a few of her paintings.

The collection on display includes three series among others. While a black and white series captures people and emotions, Archana’s zentangle series presents majestic animals like elephants and a lion in intricate detail. “I work with acrylic on canvas, fineliner on paper, water colours and sparingly oil,” says Archana, before pausing to talk about her series on sculptures of South India. “Most sculptures, be it Nataraja, Ganesha or Hanuman, are monochromatic in gold or brass. What would these subjects look like when lit up in a riot of colours? I have explored this concept in vivid hues.”

Archana’s work can be followed on Instagram on her handle @surreal.impressions.

The exhibition is on till Sunday at CP Art Centre, Alwarpet, from 10.30am to 6pm.

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