In the city to present his first solo exhibition, artist Christopher says that he has always thought of Hyderabad as a very art-conscious place. “The city is very beautiful. The Nizam architecture, the landscapes and the people, there is something artistic about everything,” he observes. Born and brought up in Palakkad, Kerala, Christopher has been a resident of Bengaluru for 25 years now. An expert in digital art, his art show Inspirations is now on display at the Inspire Art Gallery in the city. Everything right from nature, animals, birds to people that has inspired him is evident in his art. From a black and white portrait of Mother Theresa to a huge frame of ‘The Last Supper’, the paintings speak for themselves. “I have always thought of Mother Theresa as an inspiration for the humanity,” he says. His paintings titled ‘Good and Evil’, ‘Light and Darkness’, ‘Troubled Times’ and ‘Shelter’ show how everyday scenes from the nature can convey a deep message.
His tryst with art started when he was about four years old. “Colours always fascinated me. I started learning how to paint by imitating artists around me. As a kid, I concentrated only on art and never focused on my studies. I remember paying more attention to letters, pencil sketches, water colours and illustrations,” he recalls, laughing.
In his early teens, he fell in love with oil paints and started dabbing them on canvas to create many abstract frames. After his schooling, Christopher moved to Bengaluru with his family. His love for art landed him in a profession which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him. “I started off working as a creative director with an advertising agency. This introduced me to a whole new world of digital art,” he explains.
Digital art, unlike regular paintings, is a happy marriage between art and technology, he points out. “It is art, where the brush and conventional paints are replaced by the ubiquitous computer mouse,” he explains.
The artist uses digital technology to create images that are born inside his mind. “Whenever I get an idea, I quickly make a sketch of it on a paper. I go back home, scan the sketch and paint it on Photoshop,” Christopher says. He adds that though unlike real paintings, there is an advantage of re-doing a shade of colour on the computer, this kind of art is definitely time consuming.
“I take a minimum of two months to finish one painting. Some take more time than that as I have to conceptualise the idea and develop a working sketch before digitising it,” he informs.
Once the painting is ready, he gets it printed on a canvas and not paper. “I chose canvas so that the essence of a painting is retained and the colours do not fade for a long time,” Christopher says.
But, making a living out of art is definitely a struggle. “One needs to invest a lot of time, money and effort into making one frame. Though people like your work, not many come forward to buy them. And my whole idea of taking up digital art is also to save money on colours,” he confesses.
His dream however is to be recognised as an artist with a different approach to art. “There’s a lot of good work coming up and there is a lot more for me to achieve,” he signs off.