|Speed II_10" x 14''_Mix Medium on Original Leather|
Saturday, October 22, 2016
On View at Pradarshak: Paintings on Leather by Anirban Sheth
24th Oct – 5th Nov. 2016: Pradarshak presents Paintings on Leather by Anirban Sheth
A seasoned artist, Anirban Sheth has been painting on leather for over a decade.
Leather, including parchment and suede, has long served as the canvas for artists in many civilisations spread across the five continents. Albrecht Durer is known to have executed some memorable images on vellum. African and Australian Aboriginal artists continue to use it as a mode of their creative expression. Indonesians and Malayasians have used it to create aesthetic figuration. In the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, it continues to spur the highly imaginative leather puppets used in the shadow theatre of Bommalata.
Closer home, Anirban has grown up watching the batik images crafted on leather by artisans at Sriniketan, an extension of Santiniketan. Fascinated by the special effect that one cannot accomplish on paper or canvas, Anirban has harnessed the medium to his advantage.
Continuous experimentation has led him to master the art of painting on leather, a surface demanding a high degree of expertise end technical perfection for colours to be applied and remain clearly visible. Done by tanning raw hide and then painting on it, Sheth uses the tips of his fingers as a brush, smearing colour on leather to create images from life aid nature, spirituality and rationality. Often embellishing his art with gold and silver foil, he generates startling visual effects, portraying natural beauty and emotional experiences with equal ease.
He uses leather for the background, the texture, the mood - all with telling impact. He heightens every accidental effect through the use of leather paint on creased or crumpled sheep leather. He is building on the natural sturdiness of camel hide, and striving to enlarge its scope by using substitutes. Simultaneously, his ingenuity is working on newer ways of tanning so that he can overcome the natural handicaps of the medium that develops fungus during the monsoons.
A conscientious artist, who wishes to highlight and address issues relevant to our times through his art, Anirban Sheth also comes across as a man of exceptional creative talent. Sheth’s innovations on texture also include batik work and stencilling for embossing and relief effects, creating a unique pictorial language. The exhibition of his works is a splendid tribute to this painstaking yet immensely pleasing mode of expression in which he excels.”