CHENNAI: Art can touch one’s soul, and for an artist to be able to do that is definitely not an easy task. Renowned artist A Viswam has been touching souls for more than 30 years through his works. He was recently a part of a live painting event as part of ‘Hues of Blue’.
Hailing from a small village in Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu, Viswam says that his father wanted him to become an engineer. “Even as a kid, I was never really interested in any subject other than art. I used to watch my mother draw the kolam every morning at home and I used to scribble,” he smiles.
Art was always on his mind and at any given chance he would draw. “In my younger days, I never had crayons or water colours to paint. So I used to use naturally available colours like turmeric, kolam powder, leaves and others,” he recalls.
After completing post-graduation in arts, he was offered a job with the Government of India Weavers Service Centre as a designer. “I was posted in Bhubaneshwar for two-and-a-half years and then I moved to Kannur, Kerala, where I worked for 12 years. I loved my job as I would travel a lot and had the freedom to paint whatever I wished to,” he shares.
The artist loves to work on abstract paintings and most of his works are around the five elements. “We are literally nothing without these five elements; it defines us. The colours depend on the element I choose to paint. My canvas is my palette. I always apply my colours directly onto my canvas and create my ideas on it with the help of a brush or knife. I don’t mix colours on a palette,” he adds.
What’s his idea of abstract? “It can be anything surrealistic or realistic. It is all in your head. No two abstracts will be the same, they usually are formed accidentally.”
Talking about the kind of appreciation art gets in our society, Viswam says that Chennai has taught him a lot and has made him grow as an artist. “This city opened up a wide range of opportunities for me. The kind of art that was prevalent here when I started out was completely different from what I had been exposed to back home,” he points out.
Art is perceived differently by different people; what may seem interesting to one may not seem so to another. Colours also play an important role in determining the meaning of the piece. “Everyone can understand colours as they are everywhere. I believe each person has an artistic mindset.” He is all set to display his masterpiece in Italy later this year.