Reinventing the myth

The works of artist Srikanth Babu explore the depths of mythology in carefully chose narratives of lines, dots and colours

Published: 02nd January 2018 11:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2018 07:19 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Thematically Indian mythology plays a major role in the  contemporary art domain. Between the Ramayana and the Mahabharata itself an entire gamut of historically significant artists have portrayed the rich classical narratives of these myths. Artists like Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, K Venkatappa, Asit Kumar Haldar, Kshitindranath Majumdar, K Sreenivasullu, Raja Ravi Verma, Nandlal Bose, Ramgopal Vijayvargiya, Sarat Chandra Debo, Sukhbir Singh Sinhal, MF Husain, Amarnath Sehgal, Badri Narayan, M Redappa Naidu, Arup Das and many more have contributed their stylistic interpretations of the traditional narratives.

Although many artists today have shifted their focus to far more contemporary issues like gender, socio-economic, political and cultural subjects, there are still a few who are consistently persuing the traditional line. Jayshree Burman, Gurjala Ramesh, Saraswathi and several other artists have reintroduced the spectator to our ancient myths.

‘Anantham’, a solo exhibition by Srinivas Babu Adepu, at Beyond Coffee, Jubilee Hills, will unfold new vistas of mythical depictions. On a grid of temple architecture, the painter creates a visual of blueprints that instantly connects the viewer to the feeling of sanctity and piety.

This approach of the artist creates an instant connect with the masses. But, for the critical viewer, the temple architecture unfolds a mesh of spontaneous drawings that create a framework for the protagonist – Lord Vishnu reclined on ‘Ananta-Sajya’ or the ‘Ananta Shesha’. Besides the structure, there are also drawings of characters that support the Anantham narrative. The multiple colour washes create an interesting rest-and-go template for the eye.

Personally, for the artist, the act of painting Lord Vishnu is like getting into a deep dialogue with the Supreme. In fact, the deed of painting can be translated to his commitment and his beliefs. Therefore, for the seasoned viewer, Srikanth’s works not just connect him to his faith and belief but to the masses who instantly find a connect with his subjects.

A traditional artist, he says, “I support my work by reading biographies and the old Puranas like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata which ignite my imagination. I feel deeply involved when I portray the characters onto my canvas.” The exhibition opens today and will be on till February 12

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