RE­FLEC­TION OF MED­I­TA­TIVE MOODS

Hanu­man­tha Rao De­vu­la­pal­liʼs artis­tic ex­pres­sions are like an ex­plo­ration into a deep mus­ing.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Su­man Ba­j­pai

Hy­der­abad based artist Hanu­man­tha Rao De­vu­la­palli be­lieves that sim­ple means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion are usu­ally the most ef­fec­tive and as an artist, he al­ways strives to keep his art form sim­ple yet ef­fec­tive. The en­tire process of his artis­tic ex­pres­sions are like an ex­plo­ration into a deep mus­ing, a jour­ney through ethe­real melodies in search of an el­e­ment of joy, a light that brings out ce­les­tial peace and hap­pi­ness. Ex­cerpts from an in­ter­view: Did you al­ways know you would be­come an artist?

One of my fond­est mem­o­ries of early child­hood is cap­tur­ing ex­act car­i­ca­tures of my class­mates, and dec­o­rat­ing la­bels on my books. I was par­tic­u­larly good at cap­tur­ing the emo­tions of my sub­jects. As I grew, the pas­sion to­wards art grew in many folds and var­ied forms. In my sec­ond year of grad­u­a­tion, I se­cured a job in Ee­nadu as an artist. Later on, I moved to ad­ver­tis­ing and it was a long, suc­cess­ful and a sat­is­fy­ing ca­reer op­tion. Over all those years, as my ca­reer shaped- up, my art evolved from car­toons to por­traits to ab­stracts. In 2001, I quit ad­ver­tis­ing and switched to be­ing a full-time artist!

You’ve al­ways favoured geo­met­ric form in your paint­ing. Do you think that the use of sim­ple geo­met­ric forms served the pur­pose of be­ing an artist? Yes, I pos­si­bly did have a spe­cial affin­ity to­wards Ge­om­e­try since my child­hood. Even the lay­outs I de­signed for ad­ver­tise­ments and mag­a­zines were al­ways well bal­anced in terms of space/ vol­ume di­vi­sions, treat­ing them like com­po­si­tions with Solids and Voids.

I be­lieve sim­ple means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is usu­ally the most ef­fec­tive; as an artist, I al­ways keep my art form sim­ple and ef­fec­tive. As long as the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween a work of art, and the viewer is com­plete, I think the pur­pose of my art is served.

Many a times my work touched the right chords and the view­ers’ re­ac­tion to my work was what I wanted it to be. So yes, un­der­ly­ing us­age of geo­met­ric forms has worked well for me.

You are in­spired from the phi­los­o­phy of Vedanta; does it help in en­hanc­ing your qual­ity of work?

The at­mos­phere I grew up in has had an im­mense in­flu­ence on my be­liefs and thoughts.

That en­vi­ron­ment not only helped me un­der­stand life, the phi­los­o­phy around it, de­velop a spir­i­tual bent of mind and grow as an in­di­vid­ual but also, ma­tured my artis­tic ex­pres­sions.

My paint­ings al­beit sim­ple and non- representational, are usu­ally elab­o­rate in process; with mul­ti­ple lay­ers and lac­er­at­ing of colours used to bring in a lu­mi­nous ef­fect, re­flect­ing the deep thoughts in­volved in com­mu­ni­cat­ing one sin­gle idea or ex­pres­sion.

The mood in the paint­ing is med­i­ta­tive, so is the process and with the ob­jec­tive to give a joy­ful ex­pe­ri­ence to the viewer. When a viewer shares that ex­pe­ri­ence with me it gives me, a unique sense of ful­fil­ment and achieve­ment fills me.

How do you ap­proach colour?

When I close my eyes in med­i­ta­tion, var­i­ous im­ageries move in those Elysian pas­sages. The colours are dream­like, trans­par­ent, flu­idic and lay­ered. I at­tempt to trans­fer the same on to the can­vas.

Gen­er­ally my colour pal­ette re­flects those evanes­cent im­ageries. Ac­cord­ingly I choose colours and cre­ate as many shades of the same as pos­si­ble us­ing tex­tures and lay­ers.

I sel­dom use white colour in my paint­ings; to main­tain a trans­parency of the lay­ers and sanc­tity of the can­vas; its orig­i­nal­ity. Th­ese can be con­sid­ered as unique at­tributes or char­ac­ter­is­tics of my art work.

You work with dif­fer­ent medi­ums which one you feel is more flex­i­ble and sat­is­fy­ing?

To be can­did, I wouldn’t at­tribute flex­i­bil­ity to any mode. How­ever, once I de­cide upon a par­tic­u­lar idea or ex­pres­sion, I se­lect the medium as per the mood to be de­picted/cre­ated in the paint­ing. And, usu­ally while se­lect­ing par­tic­u­lar type of medium, I do ex­plore, study and ex­per­i­ment on it. Only af­ter I get con­vinced that it’s the right mode to com­mu­ni­cate the ex­pres­sion, I start us­ing it. For ex­am­ple, I use oil colours to bring out var­i­ous shades of a par­tic­u­lar colour. While when I plan to carve out unique tex­tures and tones us­ing mul­ti­ple lay­ers, I use acrylic colours as the medium.

Be­ing an ab­stract painter, when do you know your work is com­plete?

Each one of my art­works is at­tempt­ing to ex­press a par­tic­u­lar thought or an idea. Since my work is elab­o­rate with lay­er­ing and tex­tur­ing, it tends to change a lot from the orig­i­nal thought. Most of the time it will be an im­pro­vi­sa­tion on the ba­sic idea. I stop work­ing on a paint­ing once I am con­vinced it’s the best ex­pres­sion of that orig­i­nal thought or idea.

Do you feel beauty to be an im­por­tant as­pect of your art?

Aes­thet­ics and Art are largely in­ter­linked. I lay em­pha­sis more on ex­press­ing the thought or idea on can­vas and cap­tur­ing the right mood. I don’t put in any ex­tra ef­fort to make it colour­ful or beau­tify with ex­ter­nal ma­te­ri­als. I gen­er­ally don’t even frame my works and ad­vise the col­lec­tors not to frame the paint­ing. In your view, how have you evolved over the years as an artist? I still con­sider my­self be­ing a stu­dent of art. Like in every other as­pect of life, as an artist with each pass­ing year, I learnt new strokes, added va­ri­ety to my work, iden­ti­fied a niche for my­self.

At the start of my ca­reer in a pub­li­ca­tion, I learnt to stream­line my thought process and in a ca­reer span­ning up to 20 years in ad­ver­tis­ing I learnt to sim­plify the Idea to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively. Sim­i­larly in Art, I started with land­scapes, which led me to ex­plore the force of my strokes, and de­velop a se­ries on charg­ing bulls in ‘fig­u­ra­tive ab­stract style’ and later ex­plored the same tech­nique to an­other se­ries which I called, ‘Vol­ume in Mo­tion’, which was com­plete ab­strac­tion. From pen­cil sketches to hy­per re­al­ism in air brush­ing to force­ful strokes of oil colours, cul­mi­nated to this style to­day, where I paint first and then scrape it off to achieve this im­age with a deeper thought of an in­ward Jour­ney.

At every stage, I eval­u­ate my­self. I am my own critic. I don’t hes­i­tate to re­ject my own work.

What are your fu­ture plans? I am now work­ing on ‘Raa­gas of In­dian Mu­sic’, as a theme, at­tempt­ing to bring the essence of a Raaga ap­pear on can­vas. We

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