Cities Tell Me Stories
A Solo 3-D Virtual Gallery Art Exhibition
(May 1 - July 31, 2021)
Artist and Gallery Tour via Zoom
Saturday, May 22, 2021 (12 PM EDT)
Anand Swaroop Manchiaraju
I was born in Eluru, AP, India. Since childhood, I used to observe my father, Sri M.S. Murthy, while he was painting and when he finished his work, I used to clean his brushes. Often, I used the same brushes to come up with my own art. I followed my passion for art and developed my unique style. In a career spanning more than 50 plus years as a professional artist and have done over 3000 artwork on various subject matter such as landscapes, portraits, still life, nudes, animals, travel, and botanicals, on different media such as oils on canvas, acrylic on canvas, watercolors on paper, etc.
I studied photography in the JNTU Government College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad, and furthering my education by taking Color Photo Technology at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun. Upon graduation, I joined Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited, Rishikesh Uttaranchal, as Artist and Photographer. I have also been serving as the President of Andhra Academy of Arts, Vijayawada for three decades for the cause and propagation of art. Living close to the Himalayan mountains I got inspired by the splendors of nature and the Ganga river. As a result, nature is often the centerpiece of my work. My sense of the personal, cultural, and world view can be seen in my painting on Indian Tribes and Tribal Dances, Gods such as Siva, Krishna, Ganesha, Buddha, Saints, etc.
Using photography skills and my innate innovativeness, I have extensively experimented using photo chemicals on bromide and painting on used X-ray film after treating them. I am one of the very few in the world to do artwork in this medium. In the recent past, I have traveled around the world visiting my children. Hence city abstracts have also become a recurrent theme.
My work has been exhibited in many prestigious galleries in India. My first exhibition was in Raj Bhawan, Hyderabad in the year 1968. Since then, I have exhibited my work at Jehangir Art Gallery (Mumbai), Nehru Centre (Mumbai), Bajaj Art Gallery (Mumbai), Lalit Kala Academy (New Delhi), India International Center (New Delhi), Triveni Art Gallery (New Delhi), Academy of Fine Art (Kolkatta), Lalit Kala Academy (Chennai), Muse Art gallery (Hyderabad), State Gallery of Fine Arts (Hyderabad). I have received several state and national level awards. These exhibitions received critical applause from the press & T.V media as well
as an enthusiastic response from art lovers. My artwork is in private collections and galleries around the world.
More recently, I have also participated and exhibited in several international juried exhibitions both online and offline such as Studio Montclair NJ; Fusion Art, Palm Springs, CA; Art impact International; Awesome Art Inc; Youth for Human Rights, Washington DC; Artivita Online Art; Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery; The Contemporary Art Gallery Online; Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Carmichael, CA; Chico Art Center, Chico, CA, and many others.
When I reflect upon my long association with art, I find that the creative process is just as intriguing and rewarding as the final outcome of my projects. This desire to create has always been strong even when others have tried to dissuade me. The internal push to create has given me an appreciation for the process of exploration, patience, and the beauty of art. I believe this creative and explorative journey has become about freedom to create and the freedom to express myself.
"Cities tell me stories, I listen to them with my eyes and express them with my hands"
I am an artist and an experimentalist at heart. I love to experiment with the art style, medium, and tools I use. I have worked on traditional oils on canvas, acrylics on canvas to my own unique mediums- photographic chemicals on bromides (which I call photo paintings), and oil and acrylic on x-ray films. My work includes hundreds of painting in different mediums and styles with themes ranging from nature to different art forms to ancient Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Having lived in rustic Himalayan regions for forty years, one of my most recurring painting themes is Himalayan landscapes and nature in both impressionistic and abstract styles. However, now I propose to exhibit my more recent love towards cities, through my cityscapes. In the last decade or so, I have been traveling around the world, living substantial times in cities in the US and India with my children, and that's when my companionship with cities started. Cities make me feel awed by the tall buildings, colorful billboards, traffic, and busy people. To me, both the Himalayas and buildings are trying to reach the skies, while one does it in the cool solitude, the other is vibrant societies. Cities show me stories in every person's face and every building's skin- sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes silly, but none of them stop or stare. Looking at them, I keep thinking if cities are places to make life or if they are places that are missing LIFE.
I try and find answers for such thoughts through my paintings. Integrating nature- rain, birds into places with no space for nature, and adding warm colors to the otherwise neutral tones of the buildings, are some of my favorite ways of bringing life and character to my city paintings.
The style of my paintings is a mixture of both traditional and modern approaches. I used many types of tools and techniques that I have developed over the years to give expressiveness to my paintings. Most of these are oil on canvas that is made using traditional tools like palette knives and some of my own unique tools such as coconut leaves, single edge blades, hair combs, broomsticks, etc. This use of different tools gives an explosive texture to these impasto paintings. I feel, my cityscapes are fusions of my experiences with the Himalayas and expectations of cities. All these cityscapes are my personal visions and I am looking forward to an opportunity to express these feelings and experiences through showcasing my artwork in a solo show.
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