T.V. Santhosh's works bring into focus the growing influence of politics and the media on our understanding of global issues. He delves into the perplexing phenomenon of the media reshaping and constructing public opinion on current affairs.
He says, “Our understanding of current issues of a global and political nature is invariably shaped and altered by the media. It’s difficult to draw a line to distinguish between honest representation of facts and their distortion or manipulation. Even truth can be subjective. What is projected and seen may not be the complete truth. As an artist, I try to formulate a language that is capable of capturing notions of reality.”
The artist deals with complex contemporary issues like global unrest, conflict and violence. In particular, the network of terror powered by scientific intelligence and technological advances - a kind of unholy nexus between knowledge and terror - comes under his scanner.
He has steadfastly stuck to the subject of simmering current conflicts; the key themes of war and catastrophe. His spirit of inquiry and resistance, rooted in questions of history, tackles omnipresent unrest and injustice even as he juxtaposes contemporary issues with past events to establish a correlation between them.
His work is based either on photographic reference drawn from magazines, newspapers and television visuals, or a metaphorical one where the historical and the fictional source materials merge. When he picks images, and manipulates them, his objective is to ask a question, to go the root of the problem of violence and terrorism. It can be any form of violence – implicit or explicit; bodily or otherwise.
The artist tries to understand its ramifications, and approach it from various angles. The inventive, inquisitive artist strives to project the truth, lying somewhere amidst the barrage of images in the media by dissecting them to present alternative narratives. The idea is not to shock viewers but to shake them.
T.V. Santhosh says, “One tends to look at the world through the tinted spectacles of news reports on the massacre of innocents, spectacular highlights of explosions, flux of speakers spewing hatred and the kinds of propaganda campaigns that camouflage truth. It is a strange world exposed and manipulated; one’s extended vision that constructs and reshapes the perceptions of the ‘present’, riddled with endless, eternal questions and a couple of ready-made albeit elusive solutions.”
His artistic processes have also been inspired by the modern like Man Ray whose ‘Rayograms’ involved a simple process of exposing an everyday object against photographic paper to produce a negative image of the object.