Prasanta Sahu, one of the artists whose work was showcased by The Arts Trust at AEI in the previous edition, investigates relationships and transformations between the self and the world as he perceives it, through his paintings. It’s a survey into the human existence, with his own body serving as the most simplest and complex of subjects.
The artist adds: “For me the human body is the most familiar two dimensional image by which I can express unspoken feelings, pain etc. It is an important part of my art making to be aware of the cultural environs and socio-economic climate. As an artist brutality, mindless violence, carnage arouses in me strong vehemence and protest; as to how this is expressed in art is a highly personal choice.”
According to him, at every level in his working process, there’s a constant play between opposites. The image is painted very painstakingly using paint-brush technique which is time-consuming. Yet, he deliberately aims to erase any sign of human touch in the final painting.
He elaborates: “I try to create a tension, a pull between two opposite factors- that of mechanical reproduction and manual rendering. Thus the final work creates a doubt in the viewer, whether what he is looking at, is in actuality a painting, or a reproduction on the canvas.”
In his recent series, Human Skin was the focus. He stated: “We are all quite familiar with the human preoccupation with skin, and its connection to obsessions with youth, beauty, age and race. The underlying socio-political issues are universal and yet very personal. Metaphorically it is a disguise, a skin glove, a mask. A tiny square inch of human skin is enlarged multiple times, transforming it a floating mass of strokes. In the process the animated quality of the human body is transformed into a dead, inanimate surface.
"To my mind this is representative of the ‘arranged’ second hand violence we confront every day via the media, viewed clinically from the comforts of our known space."