Sunday, June 04, 2017

Senathipathi

Meeting acclaimed artist Senathipathi was a dream come true. I was offered the opportunity to accompany Poochi Venkat to meet the acclaimed artist at the Cholamandal Artist Village. I knew I could not pass this one up. As I stepped into his office, I felt I was walking into a dream. The walls were adorned with beautiful ink drawings and acrylic works, depicting Ganesha playing the Veena, Hide and Seek, and other famous themes for which Senathipathi's work is known all over the world. 

He gave me a lovely tour of his works including those of his children, who are artists and metal sculptors in their own right. His warmth and hospitality made a huge impact. He showed his canvas, the medium, the use of a simple ink pen and bottle of ink, which form the base for his ink drawings; and the white texture and knife painting brush to make the canvas base for the acrylic works. 

His use of black struck me. Black is a solid, overpowering color, which I feel in my limited experience, should be used intelligently. Senathipathi, with his every stroke had captured the bhava, or the spirit of his characters, be it mythology, love between a man and woman, or mother and child with the use of black predominantly. His characters expressed every rasa in each canvas: Insecurity, playfulness, affection, intimacy.

What I really loved was the relevance of his works. It will resonate for generations to come. Any one at any point in time across the age divide will always feel connected to his painting. 

I would love to visit him to watch him at work and maybe, when the time comes, afford one of his paintings to go on my wall. You can learn by listening, by watching demonstrations, or by simply being in such great company.

In that short interaction of an hour, I knew I wanted to pursue art more than ever. As Ludwig Van Beethoven quoted, "Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."

Today, I experienced it.

Make good art.

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