Shades of strong imagery

Inspiring art

 A work by N S Nadhan.

“I worked as a teacher for four years but decided to quit and become a full-time artist. S G Vasudev is my inspiration and I spent a few years in Cholamandalam, the artists’ village working on my art and travelling to different parts of the country to interact with artists,” he says.

Nadhan has grouped his work into three categories. The first one he calls Indomitable, a series of oils on canvas depicting men and women in their eternal relationship dynamics.

“I use Prakruti and Purusha to depict the power of love that is more effective and sustainable than hatred, war and strife,” he says. His second series called Insatiable but peaceable refers to the negative emotions of greed and ambition that devours and consumes people but largely due to circumstances beyond their control.

“They are forced to behave in ways that go against their better nature in order to survive but often the good surfaces after an intense inner struggle,” he explains.The third group is a collection of individual paintings from dancers to blessed devotees. Nadhan’s paints are strong in imagery  and the oils stand out against an almost monochromatic background powerful in features and form.

Figures intertwined in a close embrace and the shades of blue used convey a melancholy and a mood that is deep and dark yet positive in a way. He uses a flower pot to denote trust and hope, the regeneration of life and the beauty of nature in the midst of turmoil and angst, Nadhan’s work is both compelling and striking, muscles and sinews eyes and facial features bold and clearly defined. “Even the dancers I paint use their art to express their pain rather than joy. It is a form of expression that reveals itself very subtly through their body language and facial contortions especially in my home state of Kerala,” he adds.

The exhibition is on till August 21 at Renaissance Gallerie.

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