For Suresh Kumar, an artist, sculptor and curator par excellence and a keen observer of the eccentricities of the world, first impressions are very important. These imprints, be it of new people with whom he interacts for the first time or of contemporary world issues which surface and transform with time, after they leave an indelible mark on his mind, invigorate him to conjure their manifestation in unparalleled pieces of art. Born in 1966 in Haryana, Suresh Kumar embarked on his formal journey into art by pursuing a B.F.A. degree (1st class) in sculpting from College of Art, Delhi University in 1990 and then graduating with an M.F.A. degree in sculpting from the same institute, in 1992 with 1st class. He then went on to carry out extensive research in art for about a year before immortalizing the various facets of this world through the magical touch of his hands.
The Immersion in Sculptures
When asked about his journey into sculpting, Suresh reminisces about his interest in drawing and painting since childhood. With ample encouragement from parents, teachers and peers in addition to an intrinsic urge to create art, he realized that being an artist was his calling in life. However, drawings, paintings and images left his creative thirst unquenched to a great extent. This was due to the inherent nature of these kinds of art being limited to two dimensions. When he realized that it was possible to translate his concepts in three dimensions through sculpting, there was no looking back for Suresh and he immediately immersed himself in the technicalities of sculpting.
Since that time till today, Suresh has mastered his art on several media, from wood to stone to bronze. He pursued woodcarving for several years and experimented in depth with stone. However, bronze occupies a special place in his heart, deeply resonating with him as he feels that it provides vast opportunities with no restrictions, giving him sufficient independence to express his concept in the nature of the metal. “Wood and stone are limited in their materialization as sculptures due to the basic size of the wood block that the artist is carving or the shape and dimensions of the piece of stone being molded. On the contrary, with bronze, there is no such boundary. It offers complete freedom, and freedom is imperative for an artist during the creation of art,” he says.
The Inspiration Behind Beauty
Suresh’s sculptures always relate a profound story. Whether it is a story of eradication of social evils such as the lagging literacy rate of women as compared to men in India or a story bringing our attention to modern threats to civilization such as climate change, the message is always loud and clear, resplendent with intriguing visual appeal. Female faces and figure heads amalgamated with books permeate several of his sculptures, expressing the importance of education for the girl child. These faces are invariably angled towards the sky, a reminder of their dreams and ambitions, and their ability to achieve them if given the proper tools to do so.
As an astute observer of facial expressions and bestowed with a transcendent imaginative ability to weave a tale about a person’s life from his reflections, Suresh translates the depth of his contemplation into the curves and rhythms of his art. Each facial feature, be it the lips or the nose or the ears, is deftly articulated in accordance with that story.
Symbolism in Nature
The creases and folds of his animal figures also remain true to his unique style. “The bull is a very common subject in the world of sculptures. Each artist creates a bull that is completely in line with his own individuality and the style of his art. I researched various bull sculptures for a very long time, before I started making the bull series of my own,” he explains. The bulls symbolize power and their various versions are like the capricious moods of an innocent child, whose expressions are soaked in spontaneity and decided in the spur of the moment, lending a stunning exclusivity to Suresh’s bull sculptures. “Similarly, many of my sculptures featuring horses or elements of a horse’s body illustrate a greater power for females and their galloping progress in the developing world in today’s times,” he says.
A series of his upcoming sculptures are based on the dangers of climate change, a topic gaining extreme relevance in every person’s life on earth with each passing day. Knowing Suresh’s outstanding ability to concoct the exigency of such a subject with majestic artistic elucidation, we eagerly look forward to it.