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Mar 23, 2008

Compare and contrast -a sense of light

What a difference a 'sense' of light makes. Compare and contrast-

A work by Arjun Desai, a painting of the Bundi (Rajasthan) town printed on the cover of a travel magazine-

A work by Arjun Desai
There is absolutely no feeling of light in this work (one does not know if that is conscious decision by the artist -even if it is that does not affect the effect the image has on the observer). In a work such as this, one can appreciate the skill in working out a composition, the handling of color etc though that skill is not of high order in this case. But one can imagine that even given not a high order of skill the painting would have come out much better if it had a presence of light and atmosphere.


A painting of the Corfu (Greece) town by David Curtis-

A painting of the Corfu town by David Curtis
There's a marvelous presence of light in this work. One can 'feel' the warmth of a sun baked town, bathing in the Mediterranean sunlight.The work shows a high degree of mastery over the traditional skills of perspective, composition, choosing and handling paints etc but what makes it stand out is the firm 'sense' of light.The experience of visually going over this painting is not only pleasant but much more- it is an affirmation of happiness on earth.(Can one say that about a work by any of our mahan cheez* say M.F.Husain or F.N.Souza?) That is why David Curtis is one of modern times better artists.

*The colorful Indian language translator-
mahan cheez - (literally, a great thing) a great person(sarcastically speaking).

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