LOOKING INWARD: Nedunchelian with his "Face".
NEDUNCHELIAN'S BODY of work speaks for itself. Once captivated by an idea, he works on it with a flourish, at times creating hundreds of versions, before he moves on to another. This also allows him to peep into the past and derive inspiration. So, a part of some painting he made in the early 80s goes on to propel variations a decade later.
Walking around the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Art Gallery, where 87 works of the 42-year-old artist are being exhibited till March 10, one is captivated by his mastery of form. He does paint traditional figures, but also distorts them to lend more effect to a work. The drawings of horses stand testament to that.
A few of them dot the walls, but the book version is a joy to behold. The series starts off with a realistic-looking "Poikaal kuthirai" before it progresses to convey myriad emotions felt by the equine.
The artist, who also works on mixed media and dabbles in sculpting, says few of his works are conscious attempts to convey something.
He, however, says that even when he works on traditional figures, he tries to modernise or Indianise it and give shape to his feelings.
Among the works which entice visitors are his mixed media creations. The figurines in terracotta convey a plethora of emotions, and the focus is on the faces. He even details the shape of the mouth and the teeth, something not very easy to accomplish in that medium.
Nedunchelian manages to carry forward his skills to his day job too. He works as an artist in the Plastic Surgery Department of Stanley Medical College, Chennai, recording the process of reconstruction for students.
Works of the artist, who has held more than 20 one-man exhibitions, dot homes and galleries across India and in a few countries abroad.
He has also worked to the accompaniment of music. Periyar, Bharathiyar and Bharathidasan have all come alive as a result of those attempts.
Like other artists, Nedunchelian rues the dull market for art in South India. "In the North, people want to hang paintings at home. That trend is yet to catch on here."
SUBHA J RAO
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