Artist From God’s Own Land
Neither overly sentimental nor purely fantastical, the works of Murali Nagapuzha display a pre-lapsarian fantasy in which all humans and animals bask in lush green landscapes. Murali’s animal drawings are lively and natural, encompassing energy, life, spontaneity and movement. He strives to capture the essence of a true encounter with nature. If you enjoy getting out to beautiful wild places of the world and love seeing the wild things there, then you will find that same love and joy in his works.
A self-taught artist, Murali Nagapuzha is amongst the eminent modern time artists of Kerala. In a time when animal painting is being considered as dead, he is keeping animal art alive by swinging in the winds of change. Painters will explore the possibilities of nature as long as there is art, just as writers will continue to write about it and photographers will take a snapshot of it. Nature is almost infinitely large and varied.
The artist portrays the richness of nature, be it vegetative, animal or human. The larger than life imagery is seen in the plants, the birds and the human figures he draws is a profusion of colors, predominantly green, orange and red. So detailed are the works, that there is a three dimensional effect, and one can expect the birds to take wing the next moment.
Murali’s understanding and respect for animals and his fascination with the wondrous complexity and diversity of the natural world, are themes that run through his works. He captures not only the feathered spirit of a bird, but also the strength of a gnarled tree, the delicate beauty of a fragile blossom – and the depth of the landscapes that he has re-created on his canvas. He shares with us his sense of delight in the varied, always fascinating life forms of our planet.
Far removed from the fast track of today’s creative world, this simple self-taught artist ponders deeply over the subject and object of his attention in a relaxed and free flow of emotions that is evident in his paintings, each of which is an outstanding piece of art work in oil.
Murali has traveled widely in India and abroad for several solo and group exhibitions where his inimitable style has won many fans. He has been bestowed with many honors and awards such as the Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi Award, Raja Ravi Varma Birth Centenary Award, Kerala Chitra Kala Parishath honour and others. As long as nature is here, nature art will be here to stay. The future of nature art is bright. Let’s hope that the same can be said about nature itself.
By Anil Dhir