BENGALURU: Chandranath Acharya, a recipient of the K Venkatappa Award, is exhibiting two of his works at the ongoing group show Modernists of Bangalore, at Art Houz.
Both these have an element of fun and humour. One portrays how cricketers are celebrated in our country.
“It is an age-old phenomenon. People consider these celebrities Gods. Their victory is celebrated,” says the artist.
His other work is also a love story. He adds, “It is a central theme. Love has been there throughout time. It has tragedy, jealousy and anger. It is also mundane.”
He brings together myriad art styles and realities, blurring boundaries between the real and the surreal, giving multiple dimensions in a work. He juxtaposes many imageries in his work from the past and the present.
Through this jovial and playful imagery, he presents a compelling satire on society and history.
Animals are recurring motifs as inspired symbols to represent human sentiment, passion and predicament.
He explains, “Animals have always been associated with the human beings. The king uses trusted people to guard him. I have symbolised that in the dog. I have used a dog to symbolise that. Dogs are obedient and protective.”
He likes old illustrations. The specialist in printmaking was compelled to become a magazine illustrator as there were no facilities in Karnataka then.
The Dakshina Kannada native says the modern movement in Karnataka began in the 1960s.
“Ken School of Art produced many renowned artists. We were exposed to modern art now and then. But it was like khichdi. There were influences from Baroda, Delhi and Mumbai. The information was open to all and every artist found their own language,” adds the Ken School of Art graduate.
He was probably one of the earliest students from Karnataka to complete a post-graduate diploma in graphics from Santiniketan.
He says, “Karnataka did not have a centre like those in Mumbai, Baroda, Delhi or Madras to train artists. There was a diploma course you could enrol for after SSLC. But the certificate was being issued by the higher secondary education board, almost an equivalent of SSLC.”
He feels that the market is quite sluggish even now.
“There are no serious art collectors. The corporates should encourage the arts. There are people from different parts of the country settling down in the city and the main concern is that they feel no sense of belonging. They should see what the city should have and develop it,” he adds.