Sanjeeva Guthi’s evocative canvases bring life’s everyday struggles to the fore.
Illustrating our technology-obsessed and increasingly fast-paced world on canvas, artist Sanjeeva Rao Guthi brings his exhibition of 14 paintings, Migrating to Paradise, to the city. “From close-knit relationships to societal peace, life in the 90s was a simpler time. With the times having changed excessively, I wanted to explore this contrast and its effect on humankind,” says the Bengaluru-based artist, who won a Lalit Kala Akademi Award in 2014. Guthi aims to depict these complexities with a palette of vivid colours, mirroring everyday life using a wash technique (watercolours). One such striking piece is that of tall stacks of brightly-coloured chairs with people balanced atop each pile. “The varied shades are suggestive of the people’s wavering feelings about things. With the changing world, emotions, too, take a hit,” the 32-year-old explains. Adding to the theme woven around the inconsistencies of human emotions, another painting explores the pitfalls of vanity. “The sketch of Amitabh Bachchan and a golden-coloured body-builder signifies narcissism. The cage and the wilting garden in the painting refer to that very feeling’s transience,” he says. Having worked on the paintings for over a year and a half, this is Guthi’s second such solo exhibition in the city. He names artists Sudarshan Shetty, Anju Dodia and Manjunath Kamath as his inspirations. Looking to take up sculpting and photo/video illustrations, Guthi will be showcasing this collection in Delhi and Mumbai, too.
At the Apparao Gallery.
Till November 23.
—Sruthi Ganapathy Raman