Subhakar Tadi

About Artist

I have always been curious to explore the dark and the grey areas of life through my work. Having been trained as a print maker it added to my curiosity to search the different hues within the colour black. I have been working on a series of paintings where black is the colour and also the medium. Having understood that there is nothing absolutely black I try to dig out the various images which surface in due course of my engagement with colour.

When we understand colour as the medium and also as the message we surely are moving away from base formal concerns to something deeper to say, ‘political’. Since my works have always been from and about my surroundings or my own experiences. This is translated/ transposed over some already existing images or photographs which attempt to put across my thoughts and views about certain things. My earlier works were dominated by black and its tonal variations. The idea was to cover the surface or the visible surface as much as possible by painting it black. The intention though was to put forth a critique of the existing mindless development called urbanisation. For me, black signified an act of protest and I always imagined the image of the painter as myself.

The wall was a repeating metaphor in most of my earlier works. But they used to be another formal element in the overall scheme of things. In this series I made the wall as my object and the surface too. I found an interesting feature while dealing with wall in the paintings. As a medium, painting generally falls within the elite arts. But while making the wall as a theme and subject I felt it could alter the enter dynamics attached to the sophisticated medium of painting as such. Wall as a site is public. It is a palimpsest of various inscriptions which talk about various ideologies and traits of the existing society. It’s a site of contestation where contradicting ideologies compete to get a larger visibility in the public domain. The wall graffiti’s and the wall writings all over the world have been   the primary and sometimes even the sole  carrier of the peoples need and opinion  in these of complete state-corporate control of media.

 While painting the wall, it gave me a sense of entitlement to present my views without the worry of being punished. As the wall writings have the sense of anonymity, I could express my views as an anonymous person does. It becomes recorded within the already existing images in that surface. Also as an artist, I took the creative freedom of de-contextualising  images from anywhere right from web, to photographs, to my child’s drawing and putting in on a same surface where the images themselves enter a field of tension and start making new alliances and connections according to the viewer’s discretion.  Also it enables me to side within certain statements which might not be overtly visible. This series in that sense maintains my role in within the work as what we might term as Absence- Presence.