From being a follower of instagram pages Chalametinart and tabrezthird to wowing public with his own unique creations, city-based artist cum aspiring film maker has already created a mark for himself. He has got the social media talking.
Meet Charles Britto who plays with pictures and in the process his creations get as innovative as they could be. Actors from and beyond India add to the thought-provoking, engaging frame as Charles intelligently and sometimes playfully features their pictures on some of the forever- revered paintings that history has recorded.
Charles first project featured a picture of a young Silk Smitha superimposed on the iconic “Wheat Field with Cypresses” painting of Vincent van Gogh. Talking to DC about what prompted the idea, Charles explains, “It was about the patterns on Silk Smitha’s sari and I thought it would go well with the Wheat Fields series and it blended really well.”
Charles has a Facebook page “Kalakki” that he runs along with his friend and co-contributor Mohamed Salegh. Some of their pictures highly admired include A.C.Tirulokchandar’s Athe Kangal,1967 x Edvard Munch’s The Scream,1893, David Crane and Marta Kauffman’s Friends (1994 - 2004) x Vincent van Gogh’s The Night Café, 1888, Shonali Bose’s Margarita with a Straw, 2014 x Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, 1889, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight
Rises, 2012 x Vincent Van Gogh’s Rooftop in Paris, 1886, Raj Khosla’s Dostana, 1980 x Victor Gabriel Gilbert’s An Elegant Evening, 1890, B.R. Panthulu’s Karnan (1964) x René Magritte's The Infinite Recognition, 1963 etc.
Charles who has quite dealt with impressionist and realist paintings for his work now is open to try out different styles. “I don't want to restrict myself to paintings and am looking to extend to sculptures and photographs. Plans to superimpose images of pop culture icons on monumental sites are also there. I want to superimpose cartoon and anime characters too.”
When DC asks him to name a few of his favourites from his own creations, Charles promptly goes into the idea behind their making too. Picking his favourites, Charles goes on, “If you look at Madhu C. Narayanan’s Kumbalangi Nights picture, you will see four brothers walking on the streets. Their image is superimposed on Johannes Vermeer’s The Little Street,1657 - 58. It is
inspired from the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Krishnan-Panju’s Parasakthi was Sivaji Ganesan’s debut film and my image creates an impression that he is looking at the world with fascination. M. G.
Ramachandran from Ulagam Sutrum Valiban, 1973 against Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa, 1829-1833 had a purpose. MGR went to Japan for shooting of this film and that was the idea of the superimposition over the woodblock print. I superimposed Christopher Nolan's pic from The Dark Knight (2008) over Francis Bacon's Figure with Meat (1954). I feel the
joker is a very chaotic character. Interestingly, I have learnt that Christopher Nolan has actually drawn inspiration from Bacon's work. "
However, not all superimpositions had any significance at the time of creation. Some just happened and turned out well. "As for the Maari Selvaraj from Pariyerum Perumal (2018) picture against Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818), a Twitter follower pointed out that the meaning could be 'Pariyerum Perumal' has met the dog in dog's
heaven. With regard to M.Sasikumar's Subramaniapuram (2008) x Van Gogh's Corridor in the Asylum,1889 the composition just worked out. And same with Mani Ratnam's Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) x Paul Cézzane'S Forest,1902-1904.”
The young artist who has attended the Master’s programme at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU has already got quite a few professional requests for more of such creations. “An independent filmmaker has approached me for some collages. Some have asked me to superimpose images for them.”...