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`Human' colours

Red is the dominant colour in Rama Suresh's works



With people as focus, several paintings in the exhibition held the viewer's interest

A DAZZLING red headgear starkly contrasts the bright white clothes and the dark skin of the lonely milkman standing on the railway platform. His pose and expression show a sense of endless wait. The looming presence of a stationary railway wagon behind him provides a visually stimulating backdrop but holds no interest to him whatsoever. A couple of milk cans which seem to be his only earthly possessions, stand upright beside him as if they are some still life studies. To add to the (melo) drama, the artist swiftly adds some texture on the milkman's white clothes using knife and acrylic paint.

This is a typical work of M. Rama Suresh, whose exhibition of paintings concluded recently at the Chitrakala Parishat. "I have always been interested in watching and portraying people," says the young artist from Chennai. "I see them in their natural daily life and habitat, but interpret them in my own way. For instance, the person I saw on the railway platform was not a milkman but actually a beggar. I liked his pose and gait and added the milk cans. To highlight his expression, I recreated the railway wagon using stark colours in the background."

With people in focus, several paintings in the exhibition held the viewer's interest. A lone, red-turbaned man, seen walking on a stony pathway in a village in Rajasthan, is dwarfed by the old but imposing houses and structures. Using only a couple of basic colours, Suresh creates a nostalgic feel and mood, highlighting the bright light and long shadows.

In a relatively smaller piece, the artist sights the fleeting moments of a Muslim woman in a burkha walking on a street, while an autorickshaw trails in the background. In yet another work, a lone woman is seen walking in the precincts of a temple in Ellora. The typical way she has draped her body and head in her sari, and the manner in which she carries a vessel in her right hand is striking. The sepia coloured background is contrasted by the stark red sari.

Red is one colour the artist is fascinated about. In fact, it is also the same red colour, which becomes distracting if not irritating, in some of the works. Nevertheless, the effective textures he is able to create coupled with his talent to spot people in varying postures and movements, make one want to watch Suresh's future efforts, with interest.

ATHREYA

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