K. Srinivasul

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Krishnaswami Srinivasusu was born in Madras on 6 January 1923. His childhood was spent amidst the natural beauty of Nangalpuram. His father was interested in making toys and drama. This had a lasting impact on the child Srinivasulu. Even in school, he received training in clay toys and other crafts.

He started making screens, cut-outs etc. for plays. Their subjects were entirely related to mythological or folk tales which left a decisive impression on Srinivasulu’s art.

After doing this work for some time, in 1937 he entered Madras Art School where Devi Prasad Roy Choudhury was the head teacher.

The British academic system was prevalent here in which there was no place for the childhood values of child Srinivasulu. Nevertheless, he showed his talent in the art school curriculum and earned the reputation of an excellent visual painter.

After receiving a diploma in arts in 1940, he went to Adyar where along with the religious philosophical society, he also got the opportunity of folk dance, folk theater and folk decoration. Between 1948 and 1951, he got the work of copying the wall paintings of Lepakshi. He copied about five hundred panels of Veerbhad’s pavilion here.

This inspired him to develop a new style. Srinivasulu developed a more vigorous, adventurous and simple style on its basis. After some time, he was also invited to copy the Chola period frescoes of the temples of Sigiriya and Thanjavur in Sri Lanka.

While doing this work, he got the opportunity to see a collection of Jain (Apabhramsha) style and a book of Yamini Rai’s artefacts. Both of these attracted him greatly and Srinivasulu developed his style on a somewhat different path.

There is a lot of ornamentation in his work. She takes great pleasure in designing jewelery and clothes. He is also impressed by the power and simplicity of folk art forms. He has also been inspired by the life of the Sukhalis of Rayalaseema region.

Toys, leather effigies and temple wall paintings of Kondapalli and Tirupati also contributed in developing their art. From Lepakshi he has taken the elements of dark colours, sensual beauty of the female figure, hair style and flowing graceful lines.

Srinivasulu’s early paintings have strong and impeccable drawing. The line is short, beautiful and flowing. The depiction of the human figure is idealized and exaggerated. Her female figure is similar to the similes in Sanskrit poetry. Mostly only the lateral faces have been marked.

After some time, he started depicting daily life and rural natural background. After that he was attracted by the colors of the toys of Andhra Pradesh.

The reflection of men with well-built bodies and Andhra women with dark complexion and beautiful features are found in his paintings. Sea shores, date palms and coconut trees adorn the backgrounds of his paintings.

From around 1960, a new experiment began in Srinivasulu’s style. He started painting in a mixed medium of water colors and crayons. In this medium the combination of forms became more simple and of larger sizes. Details omitted. The line became thick enough.

The specialty of the eyes is gone. Only details important from the point of view of composition were recorded. The shapes became somewhat primitive, somewhat crude. Angular eyes and large heads similar to those of Shakaar Pare have become the main characteristics of this style.

Apart from England and France, his exhibitions have also been held in Commonwealth countries. Srinivasulu is working as Officer-in-Charge in Design Demonstration Center Madras. Some of his famous paintings are Fishermen, Nadaswaram, Musician, Krishnaleela, Lotus-necklace and Shringaar.

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