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Artist Profile3
Interview with Prasanta Sahu
Q. As an artist what inspires you to create?

PS: I have always tried to investigate relationships and transformations between the self and the world as I perceive it, through my paintings. It is a survey into the human existence, with my own body serving as the most simplest and complex of subjects. For me the human body is the most familiar two dimensional image by which I can express unspoken feelings, pain etc. It is an important part of my art making to be aware of the cultural environs and socio-economic climate. As an artist brutality, mindless violence, carnage arouses in me strong vehemence and protest; as to how this is expressed in art is a highly personal choice.

Q. In your new series Human Skin seems to be in focus- can you elaborate on this?

PS: We are all quite familiar with the human preoccupation with skin, and its connection to obsessions with youth, beauty, age and race. The underlying socio-political issues are universal and yet very personal.Metaphorically it is a disguise, a skin glove, a mask.At present my works deal with human body parts;I ‘skin’ my The Mask, Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 4, 2007 humans on the canvas. The studio is the Operation Theatre where I cut, treat, arrange & re-arrange images of human skins & human figures. A tiny square inch of human skin is enlarged multiple times, transforming it a floating mass of strokes. In the process the animated quality of the human body is transformed into a dead, inanimate surface. To my mind this is representative of the “arranged” second hand violence which we confront every day via the media, viewed clinically from the comforts of our known space.

Q. Your paintings seem like mechanical reproductions…

PS: At every level in my working process, there is a constant play between opposites. The image is painted very painstakingly using paint-brush technique which is time-consuming. Yet, I deliberately aim to erase any sign of human touch in the final painting. I try to create a tension, a pull between two opposite factors- that of mechanical reproduction and manual rendering. Thus the final work creates a doubt in the viewer, whether what he is looking at, is in actuality a painting, or a reproduction on the canvas.

Q. What are the projects you are presently working on?

PS: I have been busy working towards a show titled VIS(V)A - a chronicle of difference, which is from 10th June to 15th July 2007 at AICON Gallery, New York (formerly Gallery Arts India). The catalogue essays are by R.Siva Kumar & Anshuman Dasgupta. There after I plan to exhibit in two group shows in India and London followed by a solo in Mumbai.