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Fine visual vocabulary

Artist Jayakumar uses his brush to celebrate Nature and womanhood


THE CREATIVITY and talent of artist Jayakumar have lent themselves productively not only to his artistic needs but also to the glitzy cine world. Today, he moves between the two realms with ease. Foremost, an artist who through exigencies of circumstances had to move into the film terrain, he never allowed his individual art to be marginalised.

Says Jayakumar, "On the sets, it is team work and everybody needs to co-ordinate, so the stress built up has to find release and I come home and plunge into my drawings and paintings — a process which is meditative."

His works are a celebration of woman in all her avatars, wife to mother to sensuous siren. The canvases are of varied size, and the strong point of his art is the visual vocabulary evolved over years, comprising elements derived from Nature, particularly flowers juxtaposed with the female form. The metonymy of luxuriant vegetation with female form inscribes his frames with connotations of tenderness, richness and opulence. The colours are dexterously manipulated and manoeuvred becoming the mainstay of his art. A motif that is dominant is the tree metamorphosed to the female form.

His inspiration is based on modernists such as Pablo Picasso and post-Impressionists. His canvases manifest strong decorative qualities — a striking feature — a mainstay of the Madras Art Movement. Says the artist, "Painting is a therapy for me." Since it is intrinsic to his mental make-up, the subject matter is his immediate family, close friends and associates. The joyful or sorrowful happenings in their lives get recorded in his canvases. His sensitivity to issues affecting human conditions seem to humanise his art, making them expressionistic.


His technique, though fundamentally experimental, remains placid with occasional textures being privileged. His medium is varied ranging from pencil, pen, acrylics to oils and water colours. The artist's simplicity, openness and naivety get integrated into his canvases, which essentially are an extension of his mind and heart, finding productive visualisation. His angst becomes cathartic through the process of painting enabling him to simultaneously manage both areas of creativity. The expressions dominantly anthropocentric are powerful, vacillating between charming lyricism to potent and expressive intricacies.

Jayakumar is an alumnus of the Government College of Fine Arts, having graduated with a diploma in painting in 1974. His teachers at the college were L. Munuswamy, R.B. Bhaskaran and Alphonso Arul Doss. Receiving instructions from these influential artists-teachers, Jayakumar considers a privilege. The tradition of the art institution is strong within him, especially his facile use of line. After 19 years, Jayakumar is holding his one-man show in the city at the Vinyasa Art Gallery, till October 18.

ASHRAFI S. BHAGAT

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