Even in the 21 st Century, there is no denying that India is a country that still swears by traditionsthat take origins in Puranas, mythology and superstitious beliefs. This is more so with the creative outpourings by eminent artiste and writers, who regale the patrons with their exemplary works, by the way of paintings, sculptures or usage of words, including prose and poetry. The form of expression varies but many a great luminary has shown an inclination for
recreating and bringing alive stories found in epics and mythology. The eminently multi-talented artist, R. Giridhar Gowd, a consistently brilliant artiste, belongs to this august genre. His visual art depictions, particularly miniature paintings and murals exemplify this trait and seem to take inspiration from the land’s obsessive beliefs in Puranas, albeit in dimensions that sync with the mindset of generations of patrons. Based at Garuvupalem in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, Giridhar Gowd’s volume of resplendent works indicates a refreshing return to tradition that has been reinvigorated with zest, vitalized vision, and reinvention and redefinition, each of which finds symbolic expressions that are gloriously simplistic but amazingly expressive. Interestingly, each traces an overwhelming influence of epics that blend with puranic and mythical narratives.
‘DASHAVATARA’ - Dialectics of Tradition is a collated exhibition of his latest suite of works has created the narrative of the life of Krishna, based on his study of the tenth chapter or the Dasma Skanda of Srimad Maha Bhagavatam. A series which, opened space in initiating another trajectory of a narrative that enabled a deeper analysis of one particular avatar of Vishnu namely Krishna, which in Giridhar ’s perspective and studied analysis is a manifestation of the many avatars of Vishnu. Explicating on this the artists says, “In my view, the Krishna avatar cannot be viewed as an avatar reincarnated for the mere redemption of the Dwarapalakas, Jayaand Vijaya from their curse. The more I read the Dasama Skanda, the more I was subsumed by the feeling that the Krishna avatar is a poorna avataram or complete avatar exhibiting all the qualities which were visible as parts in other avatars”.
Giridhar’s attraction is not the story content, but semiotically he nurtured them to explore the wider canvas of its essential significance in relation to life meaning; not only philosophically but as a progressive science that eventually led to the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical evolution of man. Semantically it is this aspect of Giridhar works that carries enormous valence, marking his vision as progressive and contemporary though rooted in the tradition of literary culture. In a predominant virtual and digital globalized world where time literally takes wings, Giridhar has woven threads of imagination to spin anew the epic narratives through his
personalized vision that continue to have magical charm, meaningful valence and appeal within