V. P. Divakaran

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Diva's walked the mill, having worked for years at a software and design organization in New Delhi before opting out in mid-2001 to pursue his artistic star solo as a computer-based artist showing prints in the art gallery circuit. With a couple of shows already notched up (see review-excerpt at bottom), it's looking good so far, and here's how he feels about what he's now up to:

"Unlike conventional mediums of art, digital art has a different discipline and environment, which is totally based on a virtual palette. In a virtual environment I could not get the smell of pigments and the feeling of suppleness in the brushes, but I could create a virtual dimension of the digital palette for my work.

"Here, I have options across a number of software applications and tools that represent the traditional tools for working in oils, watercolor, pastels etc. I can push virtual pigments on my digital canvas using a set of brushes and millions of colors in the palette. This allows me to develop my own style, just like in the traditional medium.

"As I now do my painting with pixels, I call myself a 'digitalist'. A painter who paints with pixels in a digital format on a monitor which is his virtual canvas, is a digitalist. Pixels are the basic picture element of a screen image; one dot of the collection that makes up an image.

"My art is basically an exploration of colors and organic forms in nature and their interplay with my thoughts and moods, which take shape in abstract expressions through this wonderful medium. The reason for shifting from traditional applications is mainly for the desire of breaking away from the real environment and to explore and experiment in the virtual environment. Creating my digital art is a form of 'meditation painting' for me.

"I wanted to discover and re-discover the abstract expressions of my images. It must give the audience a new experience. I am a self-taught artist who has moved on to computers after years of work in oil, watercolor, and collage. Since the shift, I've had one solo "Digital Paintings Exhibition" (1999, at the art gallery of Lalit Kala Academy, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, India), with several more on the cards in different cities of India over the next year. I've added some excerpts below from Press Reviews of the show I did in 1999 for understanding the present level of appreciation for this new emerging art form in India."

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[exhibition review extracts]

Reflections of life

Divakaran (lalit kala gallery) uses computer-generated images to simulate the effect of painting. Working in the small format his primary interest is in composition and texture. Nature and human form in a dominant palette of blue and green assume flowing harmonious movement. Divakaran allows for a fluid flow of colour, letting each composition bleed up to the borders in a suggestion of continuous movement beyond the frame. The sense of organic flow of the sap of life exuberant yet controlled, marks his work, and the interplay of forms, human and natural, has remarkable vitality. Computer-generated art in India is yet to emerge fully in the full glare of the spotlight. Divakaran's work, free of effects, is entirely painterly, lacking only in the smell of the pigment.

Gayatri Sinha (The Hindu / New Delhi / Friday,May28th 1999)

{unascribed excerpt}

".. few artists in India , who have employed computer-technology in the field of creative art. Computers are no substitute for the creativity of human mind in developing ideas and concepts of design, and yet it can be amazingly helpful partner to the artist's creative instincts by offering him a wide range of tool to work with. Divakaran's art is a fine example of this relationship. Though the computer has the power to store and reproduce, Divakar believes that it is not possible to get exactly similar copies of a piece. So, all his works are artist's copies, with no duplicates available. After all creativity."

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V. P. Divakaran
108, Himvarsh Apts.
Plot no 103, IP Ext., Parpatganj
New Delhi - 110 092 (India)
tel: (91-11) 223 3478