About parrots and other stories

Jan 16, 2012, 06:38 IST | Soma Das

Artist Gurcharan Singh wants turn you into a storyteller to help figure out the untold tales behind his oil and acrylic artworks

Artist Gurcharan Singh wants turn you into a storyteller to help figure out the untold tales behind his oil and acrylic artworks

Voyeurism may be a much-maligned term but for artist Gurcharan Singh, it's all part of a day's work. The 62 year-old artist has made people and their manifold emotions the focus of all his artworks.

Twilight Tales

But while he depicts life as it is, he also encourages people to view his paintings as stories without a logical beginning, middle or end.

In his latest exhibition, titled Twilight Tales, he is showcasing nearly 20 contemporary paintings that capture individuals in various social settings.

The vibrant images have an other-worldly charm and seem to belong in fables. There is also an abundance of birds and animal imagery in his paintings, which explores animal instincts, that humans struggle with.

The Story

Since the parrot and its ability to hold a mirror to society, through its ability to repeat words, fascinate Singh, the bird occupies pride of place in most of his artworks.

"I have been keenly observing people right from my childhood when I lived in a joint family. My paintings thus tend to be inspired by the people around me.
I like to portray the varied emotions they experience be it joy, sorrow, fear or suspense. I am also interested in architecture and like sketching animals as they are loyal companions along the human journey," says Singh, admitting that he often goes for nocturnal walks to observe people.

An ode to the human psyche
It took him a year of effort to get the Twilight Tales exhibition in place. "I wanted to get the details right," he explains. At the exhibition, there are oil on canvas art and acrylic / crayon on paper paintings on display and some of the images are larger than life literally (10.5 feet by 5.5 feet).

An untitled artwork

While he has, in the past, given his take on social issues Twilight Tales is an ode to emotions and the human psyche more than anything else.

His favourite image at the exhibition is The Celebration, an elaborate tableaux depicting a mind-boggling array of people (not necessarily connected to each other) and animals in animated motion and discussion.

"I leave it to the viewer to decide the nature the story behind the picture. My purpose is not to judge but to represent the intentions and pretensions of people I meet in everyday life," he concludes.

Till February 18, 11 am to 7 pm
At The Viewing Room, Elysium Mansion, fourth floor, Walton Road, Colaba Causeway. call 22830026
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