Pradeep Puthoor, when the art is a medicine
On my last trip to India I had the chance to go to the contemporary art fair United Artfair and among many works, one in particular left me absolutely amazed, “Air-airy” of a west indian artist, PRADEEP PUTHOOR (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala).
Later I discovered that precisely in this work he received a national award two decades ago. Then came other awards and grants, for which reason he traveled outside India and he saw your work recognized internationally.
Introspective and emotional, his work, somehow, it somewhere comes to memory we thought asleep. The artist’s work here plays a meaning renovator.
What do you lead to choose Art as work? Do you suppose this a vital choice?
My art is a crusade, a mission to the whole society, like a sacrifice. I think art can do a major role to the living and nonliving things in the Universe.
How were your beginnings in Art?
From very early childhood days, I started drawing on the walls. My father, art lover, promoted the passion and gave me a immense freedom to do with art. He had a collection of prints of great master painters. It opened a dreamy, magnificent world even when I was a lad.
What did your stay in UK and U.S in your conception of Art? Is there a change in your perception before and after to stay in these countries?
The overseas stay helped me a lot in my art life, that made a lot of changes, new visions, and also get to understand indian roots and culture more.
Your work is very detailed and full of puzzling figures. What is there on your mind when you paint?
My works are related to fear, anxiety, insecurity, death and resurrection. I’m concentrating on the issues of the whole world’s pain, not a region’s subject. This relates to living and nonliving things.
What do you mean the dreams or the unconscious in your work?
I’m always confused whether reality a dream or dream a reality. My dreams in works is to convey one’s pain is the pain of all. In the indian concept understanding one’s pain or anxiety and insecurity is a great thing and is a medicine to the viewer. I want to spread it to the universe by my paintings.
And religion, so important in India, is it relevant in your work?
I hate the word-Religion. For me, the worst word in the universe is religion. Religion makes a lot of problems in the whole world. I like humanity as the substitute word, that is unconditional. Most of the people in India are religious, that doesn’t mean all people are religious. I don’t use any religious symbols or icons or religion related issues in any of my works.
What about the color?
My thoughts are very bright, that is why I like to use bright colours. I don’t believe that some colours have special meanings. Application of colours for the situation gives its meaning. In most of my works I use the colour of blood, colour of skin, colour of decayed forms, colour of pain, anxiety…
What is there in your work of the indian culture and what about others cultures?
My roots are here and most of the things. I study indian ordinary struggling people’s life and also life of ordinary people of the whole world, like that I also study the people who are denied the rights to live in the land, of speechless birds and animals, the speechless stones, the pain of polluted air and water and at the same time I imbibe the good qualities of other culture and make a universal language …then my work of art is readable for everyone in the universe.
What are your greater artistic influences?
I open my mind to accept every good thing that is from young generation to old generation.
Do you feel that you belong to a generation of artists?
How do you see the current art scene in India? Are there many artists or is there place for everyone?
The current art scene is very good. There are good artists and they have a lot of space here.
What are your next projects?
I am preparing for a solo show this year in New Delhi. Now I’m concentrating full for the show and doing some big works.