Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. — Oscar Wilde
Manickam Senathipathi is an artist who has always been synonymous with breathtaking images of human forms and deities. The veteran artist from the famed and prestigious Cholamandal Artist Village is in Bengaluru to host his second solo show after a gap of nearly 34 years. His first solo showing was held in the Garden City way back in 1984. Back then, he was an artist who set out with big dreams. The Cholamandal Artist’s Village has given us phenomenal artists like Shankar Nandagopal and SG Vasudev. Senathipati has been a painter who always idolised and romanticised the human form predominantly with many deities from Hindu mythology. The baked earth, blazing Sun, waves in the ocean, textures, juxtaposed patterns, flora and fauna, silent faces and sinuous limbs traverse across Senathipathi’s canvas. Amidst this lies an underlying tenderness, of souls projected in a world, within and without.
He enjoys the position of the proverbial ‘Doyen’ in today’s artistic sense, and has always been a name who has been looked up to by his fellow contemporaries. Through his relentless approach and diligent labour, he has carved out his own journey and has been a sense of encouragement to his own son Saravanan, who is following in his father’s footsteps.
Senathipathi’s works are a juxtaposition of the spiritual combined with sensual emotions of the mortal. Evolving out of the Hindu pantheon or ethnography, through his paintings, he bridged the gap perhaps with the subject matter with variation in the forms and figures. What captures one’s imagination and captivates is the deep and profound understanding of the tools of expression. His paintings show strong compositional awareness in enclosed areas with pure life-like decorative motifs borrowed from tradition. The artiste often credits his rapid rise and growth to one man, KCS Panicker. Panicker at that point had become a harbinger of hope for many artists and Senathipathi was one of them. “It’s nice to be back in Bengaluru after so many years for a solo show. Though I have dabbled in various media, I have focused more on paintings. My paintings are an ode to the human figure and not just restricted to dieties," explains Senathipathi. Spanning more than four decades, Senathipathi’s works create a pattern of their own until we are left pondering as to where the imagery begins, and where the pattern ends. It is indeed an interplay of life’s dramatic and typified emotions.
The art show is on at Gallery Time and Space till March 3....