Emotions on canvas

When colour photography exploded on the scene it seemed as though it was the beginning of the end of the black and white genre of photography and video.

But strangely enough older technologies tend to assume an even bigger value when they're made outdated by the modern and new. With photographers using black, white and grey in a more effective and edgy fashion than colour, it appears that monochrome has taken on a brand new artistic value.

Pillai’s exhibition comprise portraits, faces of the young and the old, both male and female. The moods are varied, changing and shifting in each frame.

An old man puffing a beedi, two theatrical masked faces suspended against a curtain of inky blackness, an older woman gently holding a mouse.

Some faces are calmly expressive whereas some others display a vast range of emotions via the subtle wrinkles, the tilting of the head or specialities of the face and the intense focus of the gaze. “I use monochrome a lot since I find that photographs shot in this style take on an immediate artistic feel. In fact, I found several art exhibitions in America almost entirely dedicated to monochrome. Models also like to do a good part of their portfolio in monochrome because it lends a depth and dimension which is not possible to attain in colour photography,” says Sushil Das, a fashion photographer who was at the exhibition.

“This collection took root when I was shooting some candid pictures of a gay friend with his partner. Watching the emotional story of love and passion unfold, I was inspired to take these candid shots of ordinary people living their everyday lives,” adds Pillai. The exhibition is on at Renaissance Gallerie till October 3.

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