BANGALORE: Artist V Ramesh recently launched his book based on his art work, at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The artist who was born in Andhra Pradesh displays themes of spirituality and desire through his paintings. In all his work, he uniquely connects poetry, imagery and art. V. Ramesh was accompanied by S G Basu Dev who announced his delight to release the book.
“A long time ago, I visited Ramesh’s house and his father showed me his art work. I told his father that Ramesh should be trained.” It was ten years later that S.G Basu Dev met Ramesh at a show. “While I was travelling, I took different paths where my work is concerned. I also took off on a tangent with no reason.” In reference to the former statement, he displayed a painting of his family that followed images depicting individuals working on coast. This captivating painting was created in 1988.
“I have painted images but there has been a sense of fatigue as I reached the end of the road. At that point, I had to change my course and moved on to a radically different art work,” said the artist. Although he had been using oil painting, there was a sudden shift in the use of dry pastels. He experimented with colors, line as well as texture and has painted about hundreds of them without oil. As he passed through this phase, in the year 1988 he had a show in Chennai. On visiting the Sri Ramana Maharishi's ashram, he felt his mind and heart open up. “I found a new way to look at things and see the world. This is when I got back to oil painting,”said the artist.
Living in the world of greed and consumerism, he came up with a name for the exhibition which he called, “A thousand and one desires”. The artist was highly inspired and awed by myths and medieval books on morals. Ramesh painted an image which was based on the story of Indra from Ramayana, where he is cursed and has eyes all over his body.
One of his interesting paintings is where the canvas in divided into a number of tiny squares where he asked people to paint their desires. He has also used extensive text to form the image itself. “Many of his paintings are densely layered,” commented one of the guest.
"During school days, I had a mortal fear for water colours. However, after manipulating and experimenting with them, my fears have disappeared,” added the outstanding artist. The book launch ended with a audience discussion and appreciation of his extensive work. “Questions regarding ethics and religion are still valid to us and this is one reason I have painted images based on them,” signed off Ramesh.