Art of K. Janardanan

M.V.DEVAN Artist & Art critic


The images portrayed in Janardanan’s paintings cannot be attributed to any particular objects. At the same time those images somewhere bear a resemblance to some of the folklore Images, symbols and idols, which can be found commonly across Kerala. In that sense, these paintings convey the message of abstract as well as contemporary art. These paintings, at a glance, resemble tantric art also. Tantric art is a part of life-style of ancient mankind. Our forefathers had contemplated about space, consolidated and simplified them. Tantric art is the outcome of their effort to streamline the principle of space into shapes like square, triangle and circle. According to scholars, probably, tantric religion is the first religion that came into existence. Towards late fifties and early sixties, there had been an effort to revive the radical images of primitive civilization. This happened mainly in Europe, America and India. India was very opulent in this. Tantric rites and rituals had been practiced vividly across kerala, the symbols of which are still engraved within us. Theyyam is one such symbol. When I saw Janardanan’s paintings, it is not just the abstraction that I found interesting, but it reminded me of some emotions that I had experienced, some imaginations that I had come across and forgotten, something that I yearn to relish again. It is abstract, but at the same time it is somehow related to the soul of our land. It is the reminiscence of this that you can find in Janardanan’s paintings.