Well known for his vibrant mythological collages, Subramanian was born and brought up in Thandavankulam, Tamil Nadu. He graduated top of his class from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kumbakonam in 1974. His father was a theatre artist, hence art found a way in Subramanian’s life at quite an early age.
Working in mixed-media, Subramanian first sketches a simple line drawing, an idea, he says he learnt from young kids. He then fills these drawings with images cut from various magazines, in different shapes and sizes. One can often see a shoal of fish taking the place of a young girl’s stole, blue skies and deep oceans filling colour in Krishna and Buddha’s faces, setting sun shining bright as his subject’s eyes and a flock of bird as the God’s crown.
Hindu Gods and Goddesses such as Radha-Krishna, Buddha, Ganesha, Hanuman, etc. form Subramanian’s subjects. In a way, the artist portrays a completely different form of these Gods and Goddesses through his collages. He often uses acrylic colours to blend the images and paper cuts together, making them look seamless and beautiful. Subramanian’s depiction of Gods is equally magnificent and innocent.
Young girls, playing in a group, interacting with each other, adorned with flowers is another common sighting in Subramanian’s art. Through these colleges, the artist honours and preserves the memory of his daughter, who he lost to cancer at a very young age. Subramanian’s collages are simple and resonate a child-like innocence. His colour palette is vibrant just like a child’s imagination. His collages bring joy to a person’s life.
Recently, Subramanian gave his subjects the third dimension and started making bronze sculptures. Subramanian wanted to make sculptures for as long as he could remember. He makes these stunning sculptures of young girls in Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu where he engages in the traditional “Lost Wax Method” to make them. Instead of colouring these sculptures, the artist adds different textures such as lines and dots to them to highlight different features of these girls.
Over the years, Subramanian has been honoured with numerous awards including the Tamil Nadu State Lalit Kala Akademi Award in 1998, AIFACS Award, All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, New Delhi (2000) and Saudia 6th Malwan GCC Countries Biennale Award (2003).
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