I want to give something to society
8ft x 12ft
Coming from a small town near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Prathap Modi, Graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, predominantly works with printmaking and most often with the medium of woodcut.
In many significant ways he has managed to extend its limits. One such instance is that of large-scale woodcut, which is historically understood to be limited in the matter of its scale of execution. Prathap’s striving for redefining conventions led him to produce gigantic woodcut prints that run into many feet, some even having the size of mural paintings.
Modi takes a large image composition and splits it into multiple wooden panels which are carved and printed on papers separately, but using the same colour scheme. Multicolour printing in this case is done with the spooning method. These individually printed panels are later assembled and framed into a total composition. While the aspect of scale is what one immediately notices about Modi’s works, one also notices the extremely careful crafting of minute details, with patterns creating visual segregations on the foreground and background of the images. The subtleness of the colour combinations are also unique to his work, and help to assure the efficiency of powerful images.
In conceptually conversing with the woodcut works of Prathap Modi, a series of visual relationships are established between the representations of human figures, animals and other material objects..His works have a straight forward visual appeal reflecting, reacting, and conversing with contemporary social realities. While desire and fantasy become the key conceptual undertones appearing and reappearing in many contexts, the well-crafted pictorial compositions often show the artist’s self image as the key catalyst.
The artistic self image stands as a conversing agent between the past and the present, or taking it further conceptually, between tradition and modernity. In a sense, these contradictions and dichotomies foreground a new symbolic relationship between objects/elements/images referenced from different timeframes of cultural history.
Society and issues related to it have always been my primary concerns in my work. The subject of desire manifests itself and constantly reappears in various contexts. I don’t consider myself a preacher nor a teacher. As an artist, my work reveal to my audience what I personally think and feel. They evoke the need to revolutionize and bring about a change in thoughts and lives of the spectators.
They reveal several human-social phenomena visualized through my observation and a proposition toward society as in “We will be together”, which shows the importance of peace. I yearn for the importance of togetherness and of the humanity in which the former can bring us. Beyond the different sexes, castes, religions, countries or boundaries, people are simply human.
My recent works, “I am alone. But I am with nature”, explore why people today feel alone while living surrounded by others. They examine that behavior and the discovery that our natural environment holds the key to understanding, healing and gaining empowerment from this state of being exploring the holistic lives of our ancestors. Simple living with high- thinking.