Renowned muralist Natanam was honoured here on Saturday during a function organised by the Appusamy Seethapaatti Humour Trust. The function also witnessed the Saavi Memorial Second Lecture delivered by noted film director S M Vasanth.
Born as Natarajan, Natanam started his career as a cartoonist. He was introduced to well-known writer T Janakiraman by another writer Karichan Kunju. His comic strips appeared in many popular magazines between 1960 and 1990. Eventually he sharpened his mural skills and became an eminent muralist in the State. He also acted in the movie Mudhalvan, directed by Shankar, as Arjun’s father. He considers eminent cartoonist Gopulu as his mentor.
Felicitating the artist, humour writer J S Raghavan said, “Whenever we see Natanam’s work, we can feel the perspicacious writings of T Janakiraman.”
Seetha Ravi of the Kalki Krishnamurthi Trust, said, “He rose to be a good artist only through his talent and hardwork. Some of his characters like Thumburu, Alamu-Ammu sisters will be remembered forever”.
Cartoonist Keshav said, “Mural is the primary art while painting came later. Cartooning is like acting with pencil. Natanam mastered that skill and hence, he can now do on-the-spot sketching to do a mural”.
The mural work done in the famous Panduranga Temple at Thennangur near Tiruvannamalai brought much respect to this muralist. Underscoring that great effort, R Krishnaswami of Narada Gana Sabha said, “He has in-depth knowledge in puranaas and so he was able to do mural works in Ardha Mantapam and Maha Mantapam of the temple”.
In his speech, Natanam said, “My life started with difficulties which gave me an opportunity to grow. I have had good fortune continue all through my life and I believe that whatever skills I have are a gift from god”.
Delivering his ‘Saavi Memorial Second Lecture’ ace film director Vasanth said, “Journalist and writer Saavi identified many youngsters of that time for their talent. He honed their skills and brought them to light. Those who were mentored by Saavi are now shining in various fields”.