Artist, By Nature

Nature is an inspiration behind the artistic expressions of many. Now, two artists from Varanasi, both graduates in Fine Arts from Banaras Hindu University, have brought their nature-inspired artwork to Ayatana Art Gallery in an exhibition titled "Beyond the Nature".

For Rajkumar Gupta and Sangita Mishra, it is their first in the city. Both have certain commonalities. For instance, both have made nature their muse; not specifically for their current series but as a constant since their days at art school. Also, both maintain a stylistic status quo in their paintings; the forms are peculiar to the respective artists. Both have facilitated emotional expression by making the colour scheme their mouthpieces, often pairing contrasting hues to symbolically convey messages or feelings.

"You will see several forms in my paintings but they are not forced," says Gupta, adding, "Nature encompasses all forms imaginable and awaits a keen eye to spot them." Gupta's belief in nature's revelations forms the spine of his works. "Nature, as visible to the naked eye, will serve as a precursor for imagination to take root. And when imagination sprouts, it bears fruits in different colours; each a representation of a mood or an emotion."

About the significance of the rich colour schemes, Gupta says, "Nature, in itself, is a tumultuous entity, alternating between tempestuous and tranquil states. For example, one of my works has been rendered in red, orange and yellow. Why? Because global warming is a hot topic. Experts say the world is on fire, nearly at the brink of cessation. Nature is being ravaged by man, and the tones of red in my work symbolise nature being stroked to madness."

Gupta's subject also enters meditative states in his works. "Blues and purples indicate calm. Blue also deepens the paintings. For instance, in one of the works wherein I depict an underwater scene, the focal point is the blazing red corals in the foreground, backgrounded by a deep inky blue, akin to deep space." Another startling work depicting serenity shows a cluster of trees, almost haloed by the sun. "The trees are sages in meditation, gravitating towards higher consciousness, symbolised by the radiant chakra overhead," he says.

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