Melting pot of sarcasm and solidarity
Thiruvananthapuram-native Prathapan Pulimath, a freelance cartoonist and vice-chairman of Kerala Cartoon Academy, recently held an exhibition of his cartoons titled ‘Puli Madhuram’
KOCHI: The pandemic period had influenced artists to explore their creative outputs. Thiruvananthapuram-native Prathapan Pulimath has been testing the waters in the pandemic period with his cartoons on Covid and lockdowns. The freelance cartoonist, who is also vice-chairman of Kerala Cartoon Academy, recently held an exhibition of his cartoons titled ‘Puli Madhuram’ at Vylopilli Samskrithi Bhavan in the capital city.
With more than 50 hand-painted unframed illustrations, Pulimath has tweaked the pandemic with sarcasm. With an experience of 42 years in the art, the retired government employee says, his musings from the first lockdown last year are inscribed in his latest works. Online classes and its after-effects, the hike in fuel prices, the plight of YouTubers who went viral for lockdown diaries, the new way of working from home, the beauty hacks during lockdown times, debate over OTT releases of films of superstars - subjects are many and varied.
Prathapan is mostly focused on depicting social issues rather than political events. “My cartoons are my reactions towards several issues in the society. It is pure sarcasm and does not mean to hurt anyone. Being a common man, the fuel price hike, clearance sales in shops, special loan schemes during the pandemic etc made me come up with such thought-provoking cartoons. I prefer addressing social issues more,” says Prathapan, who also teaches cartooning to interested children around the globe online.
His recent exhibition portrays a Covid virus in every canvas to all the happenings in the past two years. “I started to draw one cartoon each day since April 13 to date. Thus, among the total 644 cartoons, selected 56 were displayed for exhibition,” he says.
The cartoons remind and replay all the things we went through in the past two years. He illustrates incidents like dowry cases and suicides, antique collector Monson Mavunkal’s arrest, the killings and acid attacks on women etc with puns that never grate on tour nerves.
Prathapan also enjoys his stint in teaching cartoon drawing. “I found that there are many children in our state who love to draw cartoons. So, I will be organising an online cartoon class for them in the coming days. It will help them to have a know-how about the environment they live in rather than wasting their time on video games,” says the veteran artist.