Saturday, June 15, 2013

Facets of Venkat Bothsa’s practice

Venkat Bothsa’s three-dimensional figures are mostly cast into fiberglass. Simultaneously, he makes independent collages with newspaper or magazine clippings to convert them into slides, beamed onto the sculptures by an overhead projector. The artist paints the ensuing reflection with enamel colors, before applying a coat of melamine. He was among the artist invited to present their artworks in New Delhi during the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Elaborating on his artistic methods, critic Martha Jakimowicz has mentioned: “He paints his heads and figures with a spectacular, if at first glance perplexing, enmeshment of lush blossoms and foliage, ripe fruits, birds and scenic motifs, which juxtapose, overlap and permeate with the shapes of cars and motorcycles, fragments of technological gadgets, skyscrapers and cinema billboards, besides fast-flowing expanses of color and acute linear slashes that look abstract but have been sourced also from magazine photographs.

“On the edge of a loud, obvious superimposition of alien images and of metaphor, an emotively charged poetry is generated. It penetrates the observer almost without words, through the sensuous tactility of the statues that are covered by a crowd of other images, through the sheer intensity and immediacy of strong, contrasting hues.”

Evidently, there’s loose layering of and an apparent pervasion between real beauty and kitsch, feelings and perhaps their staged version, between nature and its glossier metamorphosis. According to art writer Uma Nair, his sculptures - all appropriated from a cultural mass image bank – denote the perverse strains of pleasure and endless consumption urban life must accept, critique and embrace in order to live with.

He presents us the post-modernism of simultaneity and the disappearing context that moves the works into a global arena. The illuminated or painted sculptures convey his varied artistic concerns like the fast deteriorating ecological balance, engendered species, global warming, and the materialistic culture. They translate into apt metaphors for resulting tensions and anxieties within society even as the artist makes bodies sites of conflict.

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