Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Peeping into A master artist’s versatile oeuvre

In his oeuvre, at once savant and austere, theoretical preoccupations tend to take a human form. We discover an intellectual and artistic exploration, as well as a quest - both transcendental and physical – in nature...

Akbar Padamsee has worked on heads, nudes, abstracts and computer graphics. The mulch-faceted artist’s dynamic oeuvre incorporates a wide range of mediums, such as drawing and photography. Driven by his keenness to experiment, he started using computers.

To begin with, the veteran merely scanned his paintings or tried to paint with the mouse, exploring geometrical forms based on certain mathematical equations fed into the machine. His intention was to explore the new terrain of technology. Recounting the experience, he has stated: “When I use the computer, I am not drawing the image, but I am simply employing other artistic principles. Skill is important, but being an artist is not just about having technical virtuosity.”

On the other hand, his photos of nudes - originally studies – akin to anatomical explorations for his paintings, prompted him to further explore this challenging medium. In them, movements, gestures and points of view gave the composition immense interiority and tension, as he played with shadows, reflection and transparency. He also recently opted to re-visit the theme of Metascapes he first dealt with in the eighties.

Revealing the core thought, the octogenarian stated, “The first step of a painting is space. If all space is equal, it can get boring. To make it dynamic some spaces are projected as vast, (whereas) some small. Then comes color! If I put red in one corner and green diagonally opposite, the eye will travel to the green, but there should be no interruption in its trajectory; unless I want it to zig-zag. To make a work mobile we use the trajectory principle of color. All art is abstract. Even when you do a nude if the quality of abstraction is not there, it's not art.”

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