Art beat: Stirred not shaken

Art beat: Stirred not shaken

FRANCIS H DSA deconstructs two enlightening exhibitions by P R Sateesh and Raj Shahani

Francis H D'saUpdated: Saturday, November 09, 2019, 11:34 AM IST

Action painting frenzy

FRENETIC by P R Sateesh is an exhibition that will leave the viewer overwhelmed

Even Jackson Pollock, the legendary action painter, who literally invented 'action painting' would have been proud to have seen the works of P R SATEESH

Titled 'FRENETIC', Sateesh's paintings are furious, spontaneous, with vibrant bursts of colour. They are in very large format and when you smell the acrylic and oil on the canvas, you might even hear the artist's frenetic childhood 'chaos' from village to hills and plains, art education from school to college, city life, residency, back to the country life, that finally gave him the perfect balance between painting and cultivation. Peace, tranquillity, was what the artist desired all along.

His father was his first inspiration. Full of figures, maybe part of this exhibition where the figure drawings are, are a tribute to his dad's inspiration.

Sateesh began his art journey with sculpture, but in college his colleagues noticed his penchant and heightened sense of colour awareness and 'persuaded' him to pursue painting instead.

His layered compositions suggest the play of light filtering through a ' forest- like' canopy and undergrowth. This is no coincidence as the artist comes from a spice farming family.

From living in the hills and the plains, the farm and the forests, unpredictable weather changes, reading season changes, in the village, all have appeared/ influenced his paintings... faces here and there, distorted dwellings, in heavy impasto technique, make the artist a busy, often ' worrisome' personality, his gestural expressions suggest that he's getting rid of his past, seeking release on the canvas.

Through the turbulence, one constantly negotiates, interrelationships among strokes and currents, figures and lines, bold and linear. As if this is a recording of his life's passage on canvas.

In the images here, there is a spontaneity, not a conscious effort to make a grand canvas. Probably technics take a back-seat, and fluidity and action are frontal.

He says, “The animal world has always been part of my life. We had domestic animals as well as visitors from the wild. The forest presents crude but novel scenarios.

This novelty enriches creativity and it is an endless source of reference in my case. I have been curious about the images evolving out of myself as most of them come to me as surprises.” Humans, butterflies, rare moths, forests, wild animals, birds are all 'trapped' on this canvas.

His black and white drawings are more like doodles, casual renderings of his village life, and a tribute to his father, as he used to watch him sketch.

“If we dive deep into the mysteries of such creations, our formal boundaries in drawing and painting will fade away,” he maintains.

Go see! Get enlightened!

Where: Gallerie Mirchandani and Steinreucke,Mumbai

Till December 31, 2019