Puducherry

MGR lives through a doctor’s canvas

Dr. Gilbert Fernandez memorialises the most popular actor and beloved politician in his paintings

Here is an artist who captures the fascinating journey of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran from tinsel town to politics, through his paint brush. Meet Dr. Gilbert Fernandez, a skin specialist with more than 35 years of service in the health sector in Puducherry, whose passion for art drove him to memorialise the man who struggled his way out of poverty to etch an image in Tamil Nadu politics.

In the Ashram Exhibition Hall, facing the Bay of Bengal, on the Beach Road, he recently exhibited nearly 91 paintings.

Of which, 40 portraits of MGR are exhibited in the ‘Art Exhibition and MGR Centenary Paintings’. “I had planned to focus on MGR Centenary paintings. Beginning last December, I started working on it by collecting reading materials related to MGR. I read all the works about him before I started painting,” said Dr. Fernandez.

Life in art: Paintings of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu , M.G. Ramachandran on display at an art exhibition at the Ashram Exhibition Hall on Beach Road as part of the MGR centenary celebrations.

Life in art: Paintings of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu , M.G. Ramachandran on display at an art exhibition at the Ashram Exhibition Hall on Beach Road as part of the MGR centenary celebrations.  

He adds: “MGR was different from any other artiste. There was a concept in all his works and he believed that a hero has to be a person with values. We can see concepts such as mother being personified as god on earth, a teetotaller hero who protects and respects women and children. We see these concepts in all his movies. This is what made him stand apart from his counterparts.”

Different facets

Dr. Fernandez’s oeuvre encompasses MGR’s portraits from different movies, his career represented in one canvas, and MGR with his friends and contemporaries. His political mentor has also been depicted in the paintings besides the portraits of the characters he played in the nearly hundred movies he acted. Dr. Fernandez has preferred to use black and white to paint most of his works on MGR. “I am not formally trained in art. A hobby which I developed since childhood has continued till date. Even while practising medicine, I did not give up on painting. I met several senior artistes on different occasions and learnt from them ,” he says, adding that he paints during his lunch break between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Dr. Fernandez works at the New Medical Centre, Cluny Hospital and also runs a clinic. He has held a solo exhibition in 2006 and a road show in Puducherry.

His other works include portraits of different personalities and painting nature.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:13:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/mgr-lives-through-a-doctors-canvas/article22398871.ece

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