K.T. Shivaprasad

Shiva Prasad was born in Mercara, Karnataka in 1947. Having left engineering studies he joined the J.J. School of Art, Bombay obtaining a diploma in painting in 1973. Afterwards he has lived in an Hassan, town in Karnataka, for a long time active in socialist, farmers' and dalit organizations. Initially influenced by Abstract Expressionism, he later explored relationships between reality and illusion under Pop Art inspirations. He destroyed those works frustrated that people with whom he interacted daily could not relate to them at any level. A new beginning at the end of the '70s saw a series of male nudes indicating a tender, but vulnerable openness to the actual world and a focus on the human figure. From the early'80 he has been painting extended portraits of villagers and small town people in their environment. By means of a direct realism, natural in its contemporary character, he inherently blends elements of abstraction, chance photography, conscious pose as well as subtle transformations which are dictated by his emotionally charged interpretation of and near identification with the subject- matter. His choice belongs to the classic humanist tradition which in the post-modern situation is best represented by Lucien Freud. By looking closely, intensely and deeply at the actual he allows it to quietly reveal itself in its profundities and various association - from emotive to cultural ones, which is achieved through purely visual means. If metaphors arise, it happens without verbal or symbolic aids. His 'magical' realism brings out rough character, love, endurance, innocence, also humor with fantasy and poetry which permeate ordinary life through people's feelings and their religious and artistic fascinations. There are layers of warm lyncism mystery and s~ tones in evoking which natural light and soft, suspended shadows play an important role, unraveling also a vivid, often strangely enchanting and mutually responsive togetherness of people with the surrounding and objects of their use, the latter containing an impact of human presence and that of passing time. Almost abstract areas in the canvases speak of pleasure taken in the act of painting as well as grasp the essence of that world and its moods. Earlier oils were done in light, quick brush strokes verging on the gestural and combined with nervous, roughly gentle lines tentatively silhouetting shape and along with sporadic multiplying of figures or heads they indicated a state of approximating the models, seeing them in their diverse, somewhat enigmatic aspects. The phase of the early'90s brought carefully finished, less linear images faced directly, with surety. The recent work has become increasingly irnpastoed and carrying a tangible, raw physicality of things. Shiva Prasad does also photography and designs architecture.

He has had many solo exhibitions since 1976 in Bangalore, Mysore Bombay and New Delhi, important ones being at Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay 1987,82,92, Sakshi in Madras and Bangalore in 1991 and 92, Art Today, New Delhi 1996. His participation's include Bhopal Biennale 1988, The Bombay Art Society Centenary Invitees show, Bombay 1989, The Gallery, Hong Kong 1996, Contemporary Indian Painters Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay 1996.

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K.T. Shivaprasad
Oil on Canvas
66" x 72"