Freedom of expression
Aurangabad based artist J. Nandkumar has been popularly known for his controversial art works on Gandhi and Indian goddess. His art is abstract and he paints acrylic on canvas with knife.
Tell us about your journey in the field of art?
Born in Jawalban, Maharashtra in 1963, I had interest in drawing right from childhood. During my school, I did a lot of drawing and was appreciated for my art. I was passionate about it and did my B.F.A in 1988 and M.F.A (Creative painting) in 2007. My first solo art exhibition was held at Srishti Art gallery, Aurangabad in 1994. I have participated in several workshops, group shows and events. One of the highpoint of my work is that my paintings have been purchased by businessman Anil Ambani of Reliance group.
Please share your style of work. What mediums do you like to work with and why?
I prefer to do work in bold patches and strokes. My favourite medium is acrylic on canvas with knife, because acrylic colours are easy to use with knife. Colour mixing and blending is easy with knife and dry up quickly.
I am currently working on my series of art work titled ‘Journey through darkness towards light’ that will be showcased in Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2017.
Which is your most memorable work?
My favourite work has been ‘Gandhi (After Pune Karar)’. I got the inspiration to paint this work after reading the ‘Pune Karar’ or the Pune Pact, which happened after an agreement between Gandhi and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. In 2010, my two paintings ‘Gandhi (After Pune Karar)’ and ‘Blind Faith’ were forcedly brought down during my exhibition at the Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai. ‘Gandhi (After Pune Karar) depicted a dhoti clad Mahatma Gandhi striking a victim with a Trishul and ‘Blind Faith’ depicted a nude Hindu goddess.
Who are the art legends you admire?
I am inspired by the works of art legends M. F. Hussein, Tayyab Mehta, Ramkumar, Prabhakar Kholte. Their struggle was for the freedom of art throughout their lifespan.