KOCHI: Saroop MV’s ‘Portable Deserts’ promise to drown you in the morbidity of the mundane. It is those portions of your day that you would often discard are the subjects of Saroop’s paintings. They echo, the artist’s profound loneliness, deep-ridden emotions and even his minute observations. Here is an artist, who in all his innocence, does not admit he is different, but vigorously says so through his paintings. The exhibition going on at Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum, thus lends a sense of déjà vu for the city-zens.
His earthen pots are poking with spines and glossy greens of cacti , so are his canvasses. Even when he is painting himself in myriad moods, Saroop does not forget to include that ‘piece-of- desert he has been nurturing in his heart and home. They are portable unlike the golden dunes or date palms. This artist, who still in his twenties, is yet to learn the intellectual maneuverings of art world and hence comes across as a wisp of fresh air.
“This is my first solo exhibition. After my BFA from Fine Arts College, here, in 2013 I joined ‘Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication,’ for my MFA. That is when I got a call from Alliance Francaise. They told me they liked my works and would like to conduct an exhibition of my works,” says Saroop.
The sense of loss emanating from every pore of his works is palpable. Even in his self portraits it is that loss that transcends to the viewers. This artist celebrates the humdrum of day-to-day life through his plain portrayal of handpicked vignettes from his own life.
“My paintings do not have any hidden meanings in them. I paint what I like rather than what people would like to see,” says Saroop. According to Saroop his foray into the art was never preplanned.
“I used to draw but it never occurred to me that I will be pursuing art in the future. It was predestined I guess,” says Saroop.
Between the rails of a balcony Saroop looks down. There ready to gulp him down stands a giant cactus. It was a photo he had seen on a newspaper that inspired him to paint this massive work. Whether the intricate petals of Gulmohar etched on wood or the multiple flowerpots done on Indian ink, Saroop thinks beyond sheer finesse and sticks to meaningful renditions of real-life sequences.
Ask him why self portraits and pat comes his reply, “I had to live alone for a very long time. During those lonely days, I spent in my room I used to look at myself and paint,” says Saroop. His love for cactus also happened accidentally. “I find cactus very interesting with its spines and colour. I always had a pot with a cactus in my room. They are potable as well as portable so they remind of deserts without actually being in a desert. When I started painting cacti I felt that I could do a series on this subject,” says Saroop about his penchant for desert plants. The exhibition is on till November 22.