‘I think art is simpler than it seems’

Painter S Prabhu tells us what really intrigues him about art and also gives his two cents on the future of contemporary art in India

Published: 10th October 2012 10:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2012 10:30 AM   |  A+A-


Dense organic textures infused with bright splashes of colours — that is how one would describe artist S Prabhu’s work. The warm caramel tones of his watercolours highlight the earthy hues and robust composition of his paintings.

Dabbling in almost every genre from contemporary, minimal to even post modern, the artist has created his own genre by merging elements of modern Indian and Western art forms. “I have always had a penchant for art as long as I can remember. Some of my paintings have intricate geometric patterns. I never really stick to one particular genre. From figurative to abstract, I have tried my hand at everything. I believe that as an artist, it is important for one to be extremely versatile,” said Prabhu.

Sitting in the studio at his lush residence in Indiranagar, as Prabhu mixes a fresh palette of earthy browns, he talks about the importance of art in our lives. With large canvases adorning the walls of the studio, it comes as no surprise that the artist’s obsession with bold colours has led to the creation of a unique style that strikes a balance between ‘conventional’ and ‘avant-garde’. “I usually start my paintings on five canvases simultaneously as I believe this will help me achieve a better flow. I often find it difficult to part with my work. And, I think most of the artists go through this phase. I presented one of my works titled ‘Tree’ to Dr A P J Abdul Kalam recently. He was extremely happy with the concept which revolved around the perils of cutting trees. I really admire him and hope that I meet him again,” said Prabhu.

The artist also feels that traditional art is picking up pace now and that more and more people are willing to experiment with Indian art forms today. Being one of the most powerful forms of communication, Prabhu believes that art has been appreciated over the years for its aesthetic appeal and connection with religious, social and cultural aspects of our life. “For me, art is all about breaking the conventional concept of reality. It instills a sense of hope in all of us. Normally, I try to stay away from accepted norms of art for the fear of being influenced. I also think that contemporary art has a bright future in India,” he said.

Apart from creating a sense of structure in every painting, Prabhu’s brushstrokes have brevity, character and fluidity.

The understated elegance of his watercolours and quirky hues of his acrylics add a new dimension to his paintings altogether. According to the artist, the thought behind every art work is what appeals to him the most. “I think art is simpler than it seems. And, today there are several artists experimenting with three-dimensional art too which is a good sign. As an artist, you can try your level best to be consistent with your style but it is also important to reinvent yourself,” said Prabhu.


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