KOCHI: A visual art practitioner for the last thirty years, V B Venu is among those artists who was part of the late modern art in Kerala that arose in the nineteen eighties. Although there were lack of opportunities in those days when regional art was not much recognised, this artist made a mark with his political paintings.The artist decided to work as an arts teacher although he knew it would not provide him a steady income in those days. “I wanted to work in this field in spite of all the circumstances as I knew this was the only way I could keep myself engaged in art,” said Venu, the artist.
The artist is also of the view that learning and teaching art gives a person the confidence to overcome the unpleasant poltical conditions that exist in society today.His latest work, a collection of 45 paintings, have been displayed at Gallery A and B at the Durbar Hall. Titled ‘ In the City of Playing Cards’, the artist narrates the mind mapping of the cityscape. The exhibition is a combination of his preparatory drawings along with his completed paintings. The artist says, “In this exhibition, I have exhibited paintings using water colours, pen and ink which were completed a few years ago as well as those which were done recently.”
The artist has used different mediums such as water colour, charcoal, oil on canvas, pen and ink to his creative pieces which add genuineness to his paintings. His images titled ‘A sculpture in the city of playing cards’, ‘Buddha on the bed of arrows’, ‘Is democracy a milch cow?’, ‘Forgotten Gandhiji’, ‘Martyrs of demonetisation’, ‘Ghandhiji wallks away from the city of Playing Cards’ all hover around the theme of political condition. In one of his paintings, there is an image of a standing boat in the riverside. The countryside boats face each other.
This image conveys the message of rage, resistance and the pleasure of being a rebel. The images of Buddha, Gandhi and guns, portray violence and peace with a backdrop of the city. Upholding the political potentiality, the artist leads us to an array of his creative ventures.
V B Venu has conducted several solo and group exhibitions including the Past Present Future Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings at Kerala Laithakala Academy at Thrissur, Eka Art Gallery in Fort Kochi and has also conducted camps such as the O V Vijayan Smaraka painting camp at Khasak, Palakkad. Besides painting, he has made cement murals at Kasca in Ernakulam, Vembanad Lake Resort in Kottayam and Pavithram P Balachandran in Vaikom. His collections are present in other countries such as Denmark, France, Germany. The exhibition is on till October 30.