Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Facets of TM Azis's art practice

Artist T.M. Azis has widely traversed fine art territory of both North India and South India, skillfully incorporating both into his vivacious oeuvre. Not very keen to be associated with one particular style, he looks to absorb new trends and also to study the new environment/places/people around.

Some of his more recent works focus on presentation of outlines juxtaposed with ‘beautiful emergent forms’ that largely result from amplification of antique photos, engravings, and stamps. Keen to experiment, he stayed away from painting to work as a photographer with artist CF John and dancer/performance Tripura Kashyal in a couple of installation/art projects. The enlightening experience re-introduced an awareness of compositional constraints of space evident in his later works, as an essay by a renowned critic-writer Phil Psilos (TM Azis- Artifacts Amplified) had noted.

The facets of this dynamic shift were amply evident in a solo show courtesy the Soulflower Gallery, Silom Galleria, Bangkok. The write-up mentioned: “Many painters and printmakers have experimented with presenting a pixilated visual landscape as a feature of the digital age, and it would be no surprise if Azis, working in India’s information technology capital, was also drawn to this approach.

However, it stands out from much of the ‘clutter’ of digital-traditional art crossovers, retaining its novelty in part owing to its innocence - its refusal to manipulate the underlying image - and its rejection of the ‘photo-shopper’s’ compulsion to edit or delete.” Significantly, retaining the drawing as the focal point of his oeuvre, the artist looks to build engrossing painted works through amplification of form and the addition of color and texture.

The artist invariably carries a sketchbook with him to keep scribbling, doodling or casually sketching random figures, abstracts or still life. All this is part of a larger artistic process. He goes through these scribbles and builds on the ideas further, creating the final sketch for paintings. Apart from many preliminary sketches, he also takes photographs that may be incorporated in a piece.

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