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K. Damodaran
Crystallising the Inner World
One major quality of a genuine painter is that he needs no one to speak for him save his work K. Damodaran's works do that. They convey to the viewer the essence of his contemplation, the essence of his creativity, its magic and its appeal.

Damodaran is a well-informed, sensitive artist who is deeply attached to the Kerala landscape, to his cherished memories while growing up in those lush green surroundings, dreamy mother-nature enriching its children with it's sheer (and pro-life) creativity. The landscape and the memories have become of his subconscious guiding his creativity. However, it is not the approach of a realist that brings Damodaran's work into existence.

It is the approach of a man who is out to get at the essence of things, to that blissful state of mind that is attained when one has grasped the meaning of a thing, as Rilke once said through one of his poems. So Damodaran transforms nature into a happy memory, a dream world that is ready to live forever with yuo in that state. It is in fact a fantasy with a good degree of sophistication that Danodaran offers, though not a fantasy with ordinary overtones. In fact his colours and his lines bring you in touch with the undercurrents that enliven his works.

One thing which Damodaran's works convey to a sensitive viewer is that the artis fully understands both his content and his tools. That he is not groping in the dark and not lost track of his objective. And what he offers is really like seasoned wine that has a soft, and pleasant taste. Damodaran, almost inveriabley, is never loud, is never interested in teh bizarre and the grotesque. The essence of his contemplation must be realised slowly, and invariably through a slow journey through his biomorphic landscapes. Indeed, this journey through his landscape is a must for fully grasping the meaning of his renderings. And only in the end is one brought to the message or the mood of the work.

The resultant feeling of a viewer is of course that of an inner tranquility, a deeply felt joy, or a sojourn into one's own dreamy past, that recharges one's batteries, for the onward. Also, in a way, it is a kind of celebration that has the sanctity of a ritual, tranquility of sober thoughts and the purity of an honest soul. In Indian terminology, it is pure Anand that one receives through the medium of Damodaran's canvas.

On the formal side, one is taken by Damodaran's treatment of space which is so very careful, displaying a certain order, both complex and intricate, and yet so easily graspable. There's no corner or nook which is not meaningfully populated or which has a superfluous function. In fact, everything is well-knit like the notes of a Raga and pertains to that portion of it where space is cultured bit by bit tha tis to say, the Alaap. There is, of course, no climax; the whole exercise culminates in a mood.

Damodaran's colours too are extremely expressive and blend with the general mood of the landscape - it would be proper to call them 'Inscapes.' Colour in Damodaran's landscapes has a supportive function and at no stage steals the lime light. It has the energy of sober thought as against passions that must call for more violent colours. And so far as handling of the line factor is concerned, he seems to be negating it, an approach that transforms reality into a dream, mark the haziness of his landscapes.
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