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I believe in free style paintings. Some of my best works are on Charlie Chaplin. I don’t recall when I created my first painting of Charlie but I distinctly remember that as a child I would eagerly wait for the weekends to watch English movies on DD Metro, waiting to catch just a glimpse of Charlie Chaplin. They would often repeat movies on TV and that’s how my fascination grew – watching Chaplin’s movies every weekend! The TV was black-and-white but so were his movies, which meant that it did not have the colourful vividness of modern movies. Despite that, it seemed more alive than any other movies that I ever saw. I loved the set and the interiors shown in the movies; the style of dressing and the cartoonish expressions. Moved by the scenes, I began, as a child, by sketching them and slowly progressed to where I am today. Even today when I watch a Chaplin movie, the world around me seems to vanish and I get transformed into that small child who would sit in front of the TV, face lit up by the black-and-white scenes, gazing up in awe, with a huge smile on my face and innocent, child-like, wonder in eyes. As I grew up I experienced the ways of the society and its mannerism. I found myself totally opposite from it.
I have always loved watching movies. I sometimes feel that my love for movies is innate. However, today’s movies – driven heavily by computer graphics and digital animation – are throwing too much content at us at such a fast pace that it becomes impossible to absorb all the subtleties and nuances of the art in it. This bombardment of sensation kills the entire experience of movie-watching. Despite this I am still moved by movies. Movies are inspired from real life but it also inspires real life. This strong bond that it shares with humanity is a huge inspiration for my work. I started by drawing movie-stills, telling stories and sharing millions of emotions through my work – which later involved photography and painting. I call these works ‘Cinemascapes’.
I consider myself a misfit for society, unable to change and conform. This simple philosophy of not fitting in is the core subject of my paintings. For example, I painted ‘UNPLUGGED’ where I depicted the world upside-down – symbolizing the fact of harmony between me and the world. The painting is a symbol of me unplugging from the world – unable to be fit in. I put Charlie in this painting because, just like in his movies, Charlie represents a soldier, a doctor, a husband, a thief, a father, a policeman and other characters in this world. He could play all roles but I cannot. Often, based on the composition of my paintings, I use other personalities like Pablo, Dev Anand, Sylvester Stallone, Guru Dutt, Marilyn Monroe and others instead of myself.
I hope you can also empathize with the feelings I had, after looking at my paintings.
Ravi Sachula, Assistant Professor, Foundation Department, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.