Artists Divahar Manohar and Chandru Gurusamy present a splash of emotions through their paintings

Two artists, belonging to two different generations, present a contrasting set of emotions through their thought-provoking paintings

author_img Rupam Jain Published :  28th July 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  28th July 2023 12:00 AM
Burden Unreleased

Burden Unreleased

Chennai-based artist Divahar Manohar, fuelled by a profound love for painting, started his artistic journey at a young age. After pursuing formal education in Fine Arts at the Government College of Fine Arts, specialising in painting, he dedicated himself to expanding his skills and exploring various techniques and styles. His artwork titled, Beneath the Surface — Unveiling Human Emotions, explores the essence of humanity through a series of reflective paintings.

“We usually label emotions and feelings as anger, happiness, sadness, surprise, and fear. Yet, I am convinced that these profound experiences defy simple categorisation. In my artworks, my purpose is to capture the intricacy of individual emotions and feelings, recognising the complexity and uniqueness of each person’s emotional journey. I aspire to portray the depth and richness of feelings that cannot be confined to mere words, allowing viewers to connect with the diverse tapestry of human emotions through my art,” says Divahar.

Symphony of Love

In this series, one of the paintings titled Burden Unreleased depicts a man sleeping on a donkey, symbolising the portrayal of a lazy and irresponsible individual who becomes a burden to both his family and society. “The donkey in the painting represents those who depend on him for support. Through this artwork, I aim to highlight the consequences of idleness and the impact it has on the person’s responsibilities and relationships with others,” the artist explains.

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The painting titled Anxiety on the Pavement portrays a man living on the roadside alongside a street dog, symbolising the shared fear and insecurity experienced by both the person and the dog. “I convey the parallel emotions of vulnerability that exist between humans and animals, emphasising the common thread of anxiety that connects us in their respective environments,” Divahar adds.

The use of contrasting elements is an integral part of Divahar’s artistic expression, with light and shadow coexisting, symbolising the duality of human nature. By using vibrant colours, he represents the vitality and diversity of our experiences, while subdued tones convey the subtleties and complexities of our emotions.


Equilibrium portrays a man seated on a beautifully adorned rocking horse, representing the individual and their lives. “The painting reminds us not to take this life and the freedom it offers for granted. The rocking horse symbolises the illusion of unlimited joy and freedom, but the painting emphasises the need for balance in life. It prompts us to reflect on how we perceive our existence and the importance of finding equilibrium to truly appreciate the richness of life’s experiences,” Divahar says, adding, “Through the interplay of light, colour, and texture, I aim to evoke a sense of introspection and provoke thought. Each brushstroke is carefully considered to convey the complexities of human existence, with its moments of joy, vulnerability, resilience, and introspection.”

Also read: For a group of Ukrainian women, painting is a form of therapy to help them cope with loss

Line drawing by Chandru Gurusamy

Artist Chandru Gurusamy on the other hand takes the liberty in criticising the effects of globalisation and liberalism, and the subsequent human activities against nature and against the normal life of human society. Through his painting and writings, he questions the artists and their art, which ignorant of ‘corporate politics’.

According to Chandru, today’s art galleries, art buyers, sellers and art critics care more about profits. As such, he has distanced himself from this practice. He reacts to everything that bothers him by posting his thoughts in the form of drawings and posts on social media. Some of the original drawings and paintings of what has been posted is part of Art and Politics, an ongoing exhibition.

The artist deals with multiple art mediums like painting, sculpture, writing and videography. However, he has now found comfort in the medium of line drawings. The lines he draws resonate a voice against the ills of society. Through deep observation, one can find in Chandru’s artistic works the tradition 
of this land and its traditional concepts. His works engage in the welfare of human society and human love. 

Beneath the Surface

On till August 7.
At Kadambari Art Gallery

Art and Politics

On till August 27.
At Varija Art Gallery, DakshinaChitra.

Also read: Whispers of White: The ‘White’ art exhibition in Chennai explores different facets of the colour