Bose Krishnamachari’s exhibition will be up at Gallery G on Lavelle Road from 15 July to 21 July
Gallery G is an onslaught of colour on Sunday afternoon, neon hues leaping out of their frames at the viewer, human frames lurking quietly behind them. Artist Bose Krishnamachari sits amidst his paintings and smiles knowingly as he remarks, “It is wonderful how another person can see something in a totally different light.”
Internationally renowned artist, curator and the brains behind South Asia’s biggest contemporary art festivals Kochi Muziris Biennale, this is Krishnamachari’s first tryst with Bengaluru and he hasn’t held back. Called Stretched Bodies, the collection has 11 of his pieces up for exhibition, inspired, he explains, by the Dutch master, Piet Mondrian. “There’s a story I read about him and it just gave me so much perspective. One day, he was painting at his studio. He was just sitting painting multiple lines multiple times, when a young girl asked him why. He said he was stretching time,” he narrates. “I wanted to do something similar but with something else, which is when I started creating graphics of bodies but with the same concept in my head. Your body is the closest thing to you and that became the subject of my fascination.
Krishnmachari’s firmly believes that an artist should have no rules when it comes to their craft and his own paintings are proof of that. From abstract art, Braille based works and installations; he has never limited himself when it came to creating a piece of art, be it big or small. “I have worked with minimalist abstract art before and I’ve created art on the extreme side. Artists should not have a certain way of doing something. It should be limitless,” says the 54-year-old artist, busy tying up loose ends before his much awaited debut show.
To most artists, their calling comes early in life. In Mr. Krishnamachari’s case, the situation was somewhat different. “I wanted to be a doctor, get into medicine. I was doing my high school degree when I got sick,” he says. “I was in a coma for three years of my life, from when I was 17. After I found my way back to life, I didn’t have any memories of those years, just images of bright lights” he looks down at his hands before smiling sadly, “they were the lights from the hospital rooms.” He liked drawing since he was little, but now he wanted to do it more seriously. He enrolled into Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai in 1991 and ended up scoring the highest grades in the history of the school. He then went on to do his Master’s degree in Visual Art, Theory and Practice from Goldsmiths College, London. “It was fate; there is nothing else that I can attribute it to,” he says. For Stretched Bodies Krishnama chari has used about forty shades of acrylic colours on canvas. Since acrylic is quick drying, he had to work with quick hands, he says.
“My work is quite action oriented. I move here and there and work with fast movements,” he makes swishing movements with his hands and laughs, “But it’s not just the colour. I enjoy working like that. There is fluidity, you can add or subtract forms and colours and just go with it. After all, an artist’s mind is faster than light, why contain it?”
The exhibit has 11 pieces from the original collection in four varied sizes. “I am at a point where I don’t really push for sales but rather push myself to delve deeper into my work. Sometimes I am so in the zone, I’ve been accused of being on drugs!” he says laughing and adds, “The fact that I have so many colours going on doesn’t help my case.”
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale ranks as one of Bose Krishnamachari's most inspired and most enduring contributions to the world of art. Founded in 2012 along with Riyas Komu, the Biennale was curated this time by sculptor, painter, music and installation artist Sudarshan Shetty . "Again, I know i keep saying this but it was an accident," he says laughing, "Riyas and I were sitting at home in Kerala one day and we were talking about the art infrastructure in India. There was nothing at all for visual art and we just decided to do this celebration. We wanted to enrich Kerala's visual art scene but it become much more." The 108 day celebration is the biggest of its kind in South Asia.