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Painting: Oil on Canvas.
An Aesthetics of anxiety
‘Painting is not done to decorate apartments.
It is an instrument of war’
- Pablo Picasso
The bull is the universal image, one can see the bull perceived visually since pre-historic period. The puranic visual literality also illustrate the glory of the bull1. We can find the imagery of bull in an European and Indian context of rock art tradition2. We know that the cave paintings were all about ‘Sympathetic magic’3. In the earlier days of ancient ritualistic sensibility the never ending deadly confrontation of ‘man and bull’ continued even today. Most of the artists perceived this sensibility vividly through the ages. The Psychological context of motivations also nervated their perceptions. We can feel this in the bulls of primitive painters to Picasso to Sujith Kumar Mandya. Hence an anxiety of influence is always there.
The bulls of Sujith Kumar express the inner anguish of contemporary techno human mind. Here the bull is perceived as metaphorical aesthetics of an anxious mind. These mysterious paintings are a spectacle of hurt, shocked, violent, revolting bull’s artistry and symbolism.
The focused images of ‘THE BULL’ that sparks Sujithkumar’s paintings absorbed the human characteristics surrealistically. The bull; the beast of power and ardor is charged with abundant feelings dramatically articulated in the deconstructed frame. Sujithkumar’s anxious bull multiplied with an amalgamation of the primitive and contemporaneous sensibilities meditatively.
October 2013 - K.V. Subramanyam
Visual Art historian
1. Meditation on Vrushabha (Bull) as described in the shaivagama Dharma appears in the form of Shiva’
- Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1794-1868 A.D.)
In Shivanidhi of Sritattvanidhi.
2. Salon of the bulls at Lascaux near Montignac, France, C. 18000 B.C. Also at Bhimbedka near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Here Benakal, Chikkaramapura, Mallapura, Billamarayana Gudda, Maski, Kuppagallu in Karnataka, and recently discovered Raya Durga rock shelter in Andhra Pradesh and many other prehistoric sites.
3. Hunting is a skill, some times dangerous activity. What if the process could be made easier by art? French archaeologist Abbe Henri Breuil (1877-1961), made this suggestion the basis for his theory that cave paintings were all about ‘Sympathetic magic’.