What if one were to describe the existence of space around us? Words would fail, but Raju Durshettiwar’s brushes wouldn’t. With vague architectural forms, textures and designs, Raju’s collection of paintings at Art Houz conveys what space is – be it a sprawling stretch of land or a cluttered street.
The Maharashtra-born artist says he never has any definitive layout before starting a painting. “I never imagine the end result. I just pick a colour according to my mood then. The brushes takes care of the painting,” he says. So can one guess his mood with the base colour of his works? “Yes! For example the red one here,” he points at an intriguing work and says with a laugh, “I might have been in a rage when I started this.”
With his works mirroring his sentiments, he admits to have spent more than a year on a couple of his paintings just to be satisfied. “I should be convinced that there is nothing more I can do,” says Raju, who is also a member of Progressive Painters Association, Cholamandal Artists’ Village.
What holds one’s attention is the tone of colours, which range from ocean blue to demonic red. Pay a little more attention and the grids, steps, arches, poles ,pillars, beams, all done in dark tones, show up. Explaining his obsession with dark contours, he says, “I see the objects in shadow rather than light.” What about the sense of discontinuity and chaos? He owes that to his fascination with buildings that are under construction – that interplay between the tall pillars and sky.
In contrast to the neatly layered colours, the lines fade before they connect to another, and the black patches become deep in a few areas and smudge away like a whiff of smoke in few others, all depending on the lack of light they entail. One can relate this inconsistency to the rise and fall of musical notes that play in the background.
“I listen to Hindustani classical music when I paint,” says Raju, who quotes Bhimsen Joshi, Jasraj, Kishori Amonkar and Lata Mangeshkar among his favourite artistes. “It inspires me,” says the artist, who also uses poetry to unleash his creativity.