CHENNAI: It is not every day you meet an artist from Singapore, who is known among the Singaporeans as the artist who draws cows. P Gnana Gouresan, whose base is firmly rooted in the fields and mud roads of Neyveli in Kadalur, shares his eventful, successful journey from an ordinary engineer in Chennai to a renowned artist in the Garden City of Asia.
Why do people call him the artist who draws cows? “ In most of my paintings, I include cow as one of my subjects because that image got imprinted in my memory from my childhood itself, it reminds me of my roots,” explains the artist, adding, “I was a mechanical engineer, succumbed to the stereotypes of a society that says art can’t be seen as a profession that is capable of putting food on the table by the end of the day,” says Gnana.
Although his parents’ insecurity made him choose a profession he despised, the twist in the tale was when he was transferred to the Singapore branch of the shell company he was working for in 1996. “By 2003, I decided to do a course in painting from Lassel School of Arts where I met Vidya Gouresan, who is my wife now. Instead of starting just a relationship, we built a partnership. By 2004, we started our own art gallery Gnani Arts Private Limited,” smiles Gnana.
In most of the paintings, the eyes of his subjects are closed. “I don’t want the viewers to have a direct sense of the concept. When I have the subjects’ eyes closed, it will hold the viewers in front of the painting — making them draw their own perceptions and ideas from it,” he says.
While he gets his ideas mostly from observation, he is also inspired by Ilaiyaraaja’s music.“I tend to connect his rhythms with my strokes and make my paintings similar to his music,” says the artist. Gnana usually tries to complete his paintings in one sitting but it depends on the medium he uses. “An oil painting takes time to dry, as I use palette knife technique which involves thick layers of colours. If it is acrylic painting, it is faster,” says Gnana.
P Gnana Gouresan’s works are exhibited at Art World Gallery, Ganeshapuram until Dec 19 from 6:30 pm onwards. For details, call: 24315371/2433861