Tathi Premchand’s paintings have variations of thoughts and sensibilities. Right from mythological adaption to modernistic sensibility every aspect is cleverly covered in his paintings. The focal point is that it varies from somber to humorous level keeping the undercurrent of thoughtfulness flowing in whichever ways the ideas surge. Analyzing all his paintings would be interesting but quiet exhaustive. The depth and variation can be seen in his series of sketches where we come across current affairs from all walks of life from spiritual to political.
A sketch of a loaf of bread and a brick, with God’s name written on it is a direct indication that though both play equally important role in life of a devout, it is that bread that matters above everything. Hunger defeats every other grapevine, because bread for hunger is involuntary demand and brick for monuments is voluntary choice.
Right from painting the queries of Ananda, the disciple of The Buddha and solution by Lord Buddha to directly and subtly portraying Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and his message, the artist also has directly projected in his paintings that even in modern day non- violence and peaceful endeavors are the strongest weapons to win the world. No other practical aspect has been effective to make an impression on world and therefore world’s strongest leaders have implemented theme in their principles, so we find face of Obama on the body of Gandhi. If meticulously observed, Tathi prefers writing full name Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi instead of just ‘Gandhi; in this his motive is blurred.
Does he want to insist upon Indian or Asian idol followed all over the world or does it simply seems impressive to Tathi to address Gandhiji by his full name. Whatever the reason saying full name does make a profound impact.
According to Tathi Premchand he likes his paintings to speak for themselves when he says that “Painting should maintain its identity in such a way that on the instant of seeing it, one should be able to understand its intensity. For me it’s an achievement if my painting speaks; be wordless expression of thoughts! “He does complete justice in creations.
Tathi Premchand is very judgmental in his approach. He compares the modern approach on commercializing art and traditional approach of art for sake of art.
Most of the modern inventions do offer comfort and pleasure to people who are desperate to seek them, but if we think and realize the so- called modern luxury, we will find more ill-effects than goodness. Tathi has shown it through his photographic art called, johny johny yes papa.. heaving sex no papa..telling lies yes papa‘Plastic love’ where a young boy happily chews a chewing- gum. The expression of delight on his face makes one feel happy too, but the chemicals that he consumes through this luring sweet is nothing but a danger to his life.
Tathi has come a long way in his creation of artworks. His horizons have expanded drastically. Along with the skill on canvas, he now portrays the feelings by experimenting photography, installations and merging of mediums of expressions. speaks in sarcastic, humorous and satirical manner. It speaks people’s mind. The work not only appeals the thought but evokes reaction in mind of an observer. The name ‘Open Heart for Earthworm’ itself suggests sarcasm.
Open Heart for Earthworm is about the modern, technological progress and ignorance of nature. Superficial living has gained much prominence. The simple proof is the cement jungle which is inhibiting the most helpful creature, earthworms from its existence on the ground. Aren’t we improving our life- style by doing injustice with other mute creatures in nature?? Such thoughts do stimulate our mind, but without any positive outcome. We just think; think like an ass! ‘Ass’ in the series represents common man, who always looks deeply engrossed in thoughts such is the mental and physical condition of people; who act as guided by political, social and communal guidance. Anyone hardly tries to be different.
In this series he concentrates on the dynamic influence of politics in every field and the misuse of political power at the same time by people in power. It is ironic that people see, hear and follow the power which can prove to be destructive to them, but they have no choice to reject and discard this system as there is no option of perfection for the system revival. People are reduced to ass where in they seem to ponder on issues but cannot react but wait, watch and move towards doom. Modernization has sucked the blood of mother earth and given us a temporary life which seems beautiful. The danger of global warming has come up and griping us rapidly. Use of modern equipments and development of cement forest is cutting down nature cruelly. Still we prefer it….because, according to Tathi “…we are addicted to the modern ways of luxury and comfort at the cost of natural gifts and reducing the number of years of our own life.”
Dhobi- Ghat is metaphorical in nature which represents the washing clothes and sarcastically raises the question of cleansing the soul. It is the famous dhobhi ghat or open laundry near Mahalakshmi station, Mumbai.
The images of hardworking men, white clothes, colorful clothes, tied bundles and so have their meaning associated with life of every individual. A Dhobi- washer man washes every kind of soiled clothes and is contended with his profession. But the question is even if a person wears clean clothes, does his soul too gets a timely wash? Here the target is towards the mass which has superficial simple living, but act shrewd and cunning when it comes to the misuse of power for personal benefits. As Kabir’s say, “Kapdon ka mail toh dhobi saaf kare, manka mail kaun kare?” is frequently experienced in these artworks. The omnipresent effect given to these paintings by repeating the images in four directions suggest universal behavior, that is not restricted to any particular community or country.
- Pankaja JK