Sufferings on canvas                                                                                           28 July 2007

The New Indian Express

       Ask Oviyar Pugazhenthi how an artist should be, he would immediately say he must be a ‘social critic’ and that’s he is, since the day he joined the Kumbakonam Fine arts College in 1983.

      It was the time when students were protesting the killing of Eelam Tamils and Pugazhenthi was on among them he felt he could use his talent and protest in a stronger way and started working towards that end.The social artist Pugazhenthi was thus born. From then he started painting on social issues suppression struggle against oppression discrimination in the name of religion caste colour all turned out to be his subjects.

      “It’s to tell people how the are suffering or suffered,” he dwells on his mission

      A teacher at the Chennai College of fine arts Pugazhenthi has to his credit numerous exhibitions recently he did a painting on the sufferings of quake victims in Gujarat it was a six food broad and 150-foot – long charcoal work on paper board “I needed such a big board to record the sufferings of the people,” he reasons

      His paintings displayed at the kamalam Duraisamay hall in Coimbatore on july 22 dealt both Indian and International issues from Iraq war to Gujarat riots to dalits being forced to eat human faeces in Tamilnadu “I believe, the British legacy of hypocrisy and suppression still prevail in the country and that too in their worst form” he says.His paintings on TADA and POTA explain this.

      He represents tragedy in a very crude way the figures in his paintings are distorted and disfigured and most often naked. His paintings show knives and bloodshed. And he chooses dull and tertiary colours to suit his themes .“To portray the stark reality, I have developed style of my own” he explains.

      His work have been published under the titles Burning colours, Unslumbering colours, face of direction, Facelines, Shattered nest and Storming colours.

     ‘modern or contemporary art may seem to be easy but the truth is different So every artist should train himself before shifting to contemporary art, he warns.

      It’s advice to other artists, “Try to reach your paintings to common peoples. Do not exhibit your painting in big hotels where common man has no accessibility. Above all, make people understand the power of art”.