The Encounter

The Encounter 
17 Dec 2015 – 14 Jan 2016
Paradise Road Galleries

I like to work with the traditional medium of oil paints. I think it might be my interest in art history and my feeling that I wanted to be part of a line of development of man – from the cave painters 35,000 years ago to the present, people paint. Essentially, we use the same tools – a stick with some hair on the end of it and minerals from the earth mixed with some oil. I love that sense that I am doing the same thing that people have always done. Of course, as a medium, oil painting is characteristically slow. However I try to react fast. I have a rather direct and fast relationship and attitude towards pictures. What is special about painting pictures is that I can lie with it endlessly. There are no boundaries. Other mediums such as photography and cinema, still carry with them traces of authentic realty. Painting does not start from reality, and that makes it unique.

Today painting is recognized as a traditional media. But painting still has specific capacities of its own to discover and exploit. An abstract painting or abstract expressionistic painting is rarely a picture; an abstract painting is a painting because it dwells primarily on the material and surface. But ‘picture’ implies a space one goes into. I am moving more and more in the direction of not referring to my images as paintings. I myself suggest the term ‘picture’. This word has a more general meaning. But with its reference to depiction it is very close to ideas of representation. Pictures are evoking imaginary spheres and they go beyond amusement or exotic. The uncanny, the fantastic, the marvelous, the hesitation, the supernatural and the uncertainty are very important in my work. The language of my ‘pictures’ is where (y)our desire is placed. My art is predominantly an art of surprise. It is self-protest against conceptual and minimal art. – Sanjeewa Kumara