Thousand of Me's,
2014 Coloured terracotta 21 × 32 × 12 in
Manjunath Kamath tells stories with his images. His narratives, however, are altered and adjusted constantly, adapting fluidly according to the environment they are narrated in, and resulting in a different meaning each time a story is told. As a visual artist, Kamath feels impelled to regularly reinvent his method of storytelling. By relentlessly working on his articulation and modernizing his techniques, the artist continuously updates his visual vocabulary.
The artist’s need to draw and hold his viewers’ attention is palpable in his varied use of painting, drawing, sculpture and video. With the help of these disparate genres he creates narratives that are gripping in content, even though they are composed of simple, commonplace elements. Thus Kamath’s forte ultimately lies in creating fantasies out of the ordinary.
Kamath usually begins a painting with just one element; this could be drawn from memories of past experiences or the reality of present contexts. He then keeps adding and taking away from the imagery, paying particular attention to structuring throughout this process, and ultimately arrives at a composition that he deems suitable to be the vehicle of his narrative. To Kamath, then, the process of construction is more important than his completed work.
Born in 1972 in Mangalore, Manjunath Kamath obtained his Bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, Mysore, in 1994. He was also an artist-in-residence at the School of Art and Design of the University of Wales, Cardiff, in 2002. Kamath’s works have been featured in a number of solo exhibitions, the most recent ones including ‘108 Small Sories’ and ‘Something Happened’ at Gallery Espace, New Delhi, in 2007 and 2006 respectively; and ‘About Something’ at Sridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 1996.