Artist Chandrashekhar Purandare
provokes people to think as he portrays the harsh
realities of life through his non-decorative paintings
by Pranav Kulkarni
everyone needs prolonged political speeches to
put their point across. Given the fact that
a picture speaks thousand words, Artist Chandrashekhar
Purandare, along with his paintings conveys much
beyond common perception – without saying
Labeling Purandare as a painter is almost an injustice
to his rational thinking and his ability to take
firm standpoint about a phenomenon. Categorizing
him as a thinker or a philosopher might mean neglecting
the art the man uses to portray his philosophy.
The appropriate word to describe this London-based-Pune-born
artist would be – progressive painter.
Even after stating that his art is not for people
to buy, his paintings have been much in demand
by art lovers, magazines and publication houses
for their ability to provoke people to think. In
this sense Purandare’s paintings also cross
the barriers of caste, colour and nations stating
the realities in a neutral and unbiased manner
and finally leaving it for the observer to form
an opinion for himself or herself about the issues
The distinctive feature of this artist is his ability
to have a standpoint but not to reflect that in
his painting thus avoiding the bias the painting
might represent. “ I have my thought process
behind a particular painting. To give you an example,
Kashmir has been a disputed part between India
and Pakistan since 1947. Many agents contribute
to the on-going violence – Pakistani army,
Indian army and the resistance groups aligned to
either or against both. It is a very beautiful
state and has been described as paradise on earth
for ages. My painting called Kashmir [
the painting can be seen at
Art-People-The Undercurrents-Gallery2-Third row-Fourth
Picture] shows this tranquil landscape and explains
how rest of India sees Kashmir only as a tourist
destination. But not many see that Kashmir also
has new orphans, widows, bereaved women generated
on a daily basis due to violence. People do not
want to see the women who suffer. That is why the
women in my painting are almost invisible against
an agitated sky. While this is my standpoint, the
viewers are open to interpretation’’ says
Purandare talking about one of his painting.
painting The Left and the proletariat records
the Nandigram violence and the clash between
the West Bengal police and those protesting against
the proposed SEZ.
Another painting called Prison explains the harsh
reality of prisoners who do not appear for trials.
also depicts the real picture of modern India
through his painting – Arriving in
the 21st century – India. “The painting
shows the villages and modern cities in India.
On one side the painting shows high rise buildings
and on the other side, the sadhu speaking on the
cell phone. Through the Tata Nano and the buffaloes
in the centre it sows that even if we are moving
towards advancement, basic infrastructure still
lacks in India,” says he.
artist also shares that his art is non decorative
and it is not for people to purchase. “What
I portray through my paintings is reality and unfortunately
, most of the times, reality is harsh and negative.
I don’t think anyone wants to put these aspects
on their walls. In fact I would be happier if people
think about it, reflect upon it and take some actions,” says
Purandare. He also states that people often blame
him of posing questions without giving a solution
to their problem. “I feel that as a responsible
human being, it is my duty to portray reality.
Action is for authorities to take, isn’t
it?,” asks the artist posing yet another
question before signing off.
[Purandare was in the city for the launch of his
CD – Outsider Art-II and his work can be
viewed at www.art-non-deco.com]