More than some others, perhaps, process is integral to Arun K.S.'s art. And it's an elaborate one that begins with the artist collecting used, well-thumbed Bibles; he then prepares the canvas, covering it with several layers of brown paper, paper pulp, and many coats of watercolour wash, before painting on it, often covering the entire surface with abstracted images associated with his Christian faith. Finally, he cuts out pages from the Bibles and sticks them carefully so as to cover the entire painted area. Each layer is also punctuated with a careful rub down with the sander to give the surface of the canvas a smooth and glossy finish, deceptive because it masks the many layers that went into its making even as it hints at a complex maelstrom of painted effects and hidden imagery. The final result is akin to a tapestry, carefully and densely wrought with each little detail adding to the immersive effect of the entire piece. Arun’s painterly process is, thus, not just as a mode of painting but a visual embodiment of abstraction—beginning with the 'real' and then carefully chipping away at it to make the inherent forms, textures and shapes visible.
Text courtesy Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke.