The Black Dimension by Subhakar Tadi
In the age-old traditions of print, black is what the colours of the world simmer down to. For printmakers, the etched outlines, the subtlety of the medium, lends itself to a deeper exploration of textures and experimentations. This ritualised quest almost becomes a tool to capture the vibrant hues of emotion, but within the depths of black. Sudhakar Tadi’s obsession with black is the result of his background as a printmaker.
Art District XIII on Subhakar Tadi
The paintings have been adopted from photographs and feature dark windows, black cats, graffiti on walls presenting Tadi’s humorous and deliberately distorted vision of reality. He chooses to dwell in a surreal dimension. He only used shades of grey, black and white because the colours create noise and diversion.
His photorealistic depictions, his experiments with texture and medium continues with this series, The Black Dimension. Black eclipses colour and his articulations are lit with noir-esque thoughts. Tadi’s black feels more than the protests he professes. It has the teeth of a weapon. He uses it with purpose but, at times like a loyal soldier, committed to his cause, he erases his own personal markings to submit to the larger agenda. Like some of the graffiti washed on his black walls, at times it exists for the sake of existence and not with an intent to codify any subliminal intent.
The construct of his art has strong strains of conflict. Like his self-proclaimed ‘The Painter of Black’ he looks at breaking colour and perceptive paradoxes. Black sits ominously on his canvases but settles into textures that soften its complexity. In this series, he wishes to block-out the meaningless constructions and edifices that are erected in the name of development but, are its own deterrents to its goal.
When we understand colour as the medium and also as the message, we surely are moving away from base formal concerns to something deeper to say, political, since my works have always been from and about my surroundings or my own experiences. This is translated/ transposed over some already existing images or photographs which attempt to put across my thoughts and views about certain things.
The wall was a repeating metaphor in most of my earlier works. In this series, I made the wall as my object and the surface too. I found an interesting feature while dealing with the wall in the paintings. The wall, as a site, is public. It is a palimpsest of various inscriptions which talk about various ideologies and traits of existing society. It’s a site of contestation where contradicting ideologies compete to get a larger visibility in the public domain. The wall graffiti’s and the wall writings all over the world have been the primary and sometimes even the sole carrier of the peoples need and opinion in these of complete state-corporate control of media. While painting the wall, it gave me a sense of entitlement to present my views without the worry of being punished. As the wall writings have the sense of anonymity, I could express my views as an anonymous person does. It becomes recorded within the already existing images on that surface. Also, as an artist, I took the creative freedom of de-contextualising images from anywhere: right from the web, to photographs, to my child’s drawing and putting it on the same surface where the images themselves enter a field of tension and start making new alliances and connections according to the viewer’s discretion. Also, it enables me to side within certain statements which might not be overtly visible. This series in that sense maintain my role in within the work as what we might term as Absence-Presence.