Samar Singh Takur profile
Samarsingh Kesharsingh Thakur’s preoccupation with the female form is more of a formal exercise in colour line and surface decoration, rather than an inquiry into the male-female dynamic that is played out in everyday life.
In what may be read as a symbolic representation of these concerns; his canvases enact an almost ceremonial tableaux-like arrangement of forms on the surface of the canvas, not engaging with the creation of a third dimension. His masked mannequins emerge almost like paper cutouts against a textured monochrome surface that is punctuated by serrated dots and a few red and blue fulcrum lines that often cut across in verticals and horizontals.
While the Aurangabad based painter is intrigued by the world of fashion and cosmetics, these beguiling, bedecked women also amuse him. His latest body of work displayed at the London Shade & Wood gallery unveils his mysterious mannequin-women, with their attenuated limbs mask-like faces and arabesque-decorated bodies, mirage like and yet tangible.
One may almost suspect Thakur of a thinly veiled misogyny, since his fascination and critique both stem from a need to appraise the feminine as decorative. However the artist reveals that his choice of muse is born of an interest and enquiry into the ‘other’. He concedes that men use camouflage and can be deceptive, but as a man he claims to be naturally intrigued by women. Fantasy and postulations flow, easier in the land of the unknown and the painter can thus illicit a more creative response from within himself while viewing the female form.
Besides the obvious beauty of these forms there is also the darker side where sorrow and alienation embrace them. Colours tend to be darker, a mossy green or a fading yellow that resembles a weathered wall, peeling and crumbling with time. The women forms too take on a deeper hue their mouths drooping at the edges in what may be seen as a petulant pout. Never deviating from their theatrical presence these women are barely real and yet their silent presence is often overwhelming; which is why their concerns may not go unnoticed.
Women and their wiles have always been a source of inspiration for Thakur ever since he did his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Aurangabad, where he continues to live and paint. Shuttling between home and Mumbai, the commercial capital, Thakur finds that his exposure to art in Mumbai has brought about subtle changes in his approach to painting.
Creative interludes with Prabhakar Kolte has helped the painter move towards abstract and decorative forms away from the prevailing realist-academic style that is propagated in most art schools.
The city has also had another interesting affect on the artist. Far from being the wide-eyed boy from a small town, Thakur is critical of the commercialisation of art. While he is disillusioned by the way so many artists produce vast amounts of work with the help of assistants, he currently believes that it is important for the works to be a product of the hand of the artist. Which is why the painter usually works in a smaller format: 2x2 feet, and his largest canvases go up to five feet. The painter has been working on this particular body of work for almost a year since it is a painstaking process to build up the layers of colour. It is the work of stealth and not the result of flamboyant, hurried brush strokes. Each canvas a soft symphony of colour and line that ends in a throbbing crescendo.
Art correspondentIndian Express
Samar Singh Takur
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