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Evocative portraits

Shankar Kendale's clever use of technique creates an interesting surface effect


`COMBATING THE Urbanscape' by Shankar Kendale may be viewed as an attempt to portray the other aspect of the chaos of the public domain that we inhabit within the metropolitan environment that confines us. As an opposing element of the frenzied life of the urbanite, the artist may have chosen introspection and isolation as providing the context within which one resists the urban landscape.

An alumnus of Abhinav Kala Vidyalaya, Pune, with experience as art director and illustrator for advertising agencies in Bangalore, Shankar has a strong grounding in creative aesthetics. His clever use of technique, alternating between thick and thin application of paint with patches of pigment scratched away, creates an interesting almost acid-eaten surface effect. Textures created using the palette knife further enliven the canvas with the backgrounds broken down into essentially angular forms. While the darkest of the darks veer towards total blackness, the lights are almost pure brilliant white.


With a judicious balance of dramatically stark contrasts provided by the patches of darks, lights and clear pigments, the artist pieces together evocative portraits of tranquil, contemplative figures. Invariably, their facial expressions are shielded from the viewer's gaze.

The real merges with the fictitious painted world to add drama to what would otherwise merely be an isolated figure shrouded in the silence of one's own company. Time and space stand still allowing the viewer to ponder over the thoughts that possibly race through the mind of the portrayed.

Shankar Kendale's works are on display at the Apparao Galleries, 7, Wallace Gardens, 3rd Street, Nungambakkam, till June 30.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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