Sunday 20 April 2014

Avinash Godbole: A Galloper bounded for a cogitative leap.

Exclusive interview & Review by Pankaja JK.

It is said that Art flows in blood, its in genes; Avinash Godbole proves it right through his body of work recently displayed at Mumbai’s Art Gate Gallery. He continues to exercise his will to express in form of forms and figures even after being bounded to wheel chair after the stroke. I personally feel it is not right to admire any work of any individual considering the limitations put to their movement due to physical impairment. Sympathy waves reduce the intensity of expressed theme. So addressing personally to Avinash, I would say “Your work is an epitome of defeating the physical helplessness by cognitive power. The hope that you develop in minds of alike handicaps is very potent”. 

(Prabhakar kolte, Avinash Godbole, Prof Sathaye Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Viru Hiremath at Avinash Godbole's Solo show Mumbai.)
Varied expressive faces are a natural outburst of feelings that human undergo at every instance and according to changing situations. Life takes twists and turns and one has to be ready to handle it wisely without being paranoid. His paintings suggest ‘live and let live life’. he shows human being is a compile of all animals. There is not much difference between us and those dumb souls, though we have additional power of brain. Do we really follow brain’s order during tragic or happy moments? Does philosophy work in emotional situation? These doubts are baseless because, as we can make out from his paintings, the philosophies work only in placid circumstances and not otherwise. The works themselves show the agony of Avinash after the calamity, but it is best to observe his subtle ability to win over situation. Here I feel he applied the Reasoning and moved on with vigor and gist without being distracted. He illustrates power of mind over heart. Sexuality is recurrent in his works. It’s a basic need of every living thing. He proposes to be unbiased at its thought. Accepting it as a basic need adds ‘life’ to life. And this is the ultimate theme of his paintings- Life.

The black and whites and the bold colors metaphors his concept. The bold stokes intensify the theme. His paintings are not only appreciative pieces but a retrospective. They try to find meaning of life at a point when one losses all hopes of living. And especially in his case he aims to develop positivity among the people (with stroke attack) who may be gallopers before their tryst with illness but now steadfastly grounded. But let them be like tree which has no movement, yet it spreads its branches and grows to be the shelter and life giver. The exhibition was truly inspiring and motivational.   

ART TALK : by Avinash Godbole

What is the theme of the show?

In this solo exhibition ‘The Avinash Godbole Show’ at Art Gate gallery at Satyam Collection, I am showcasing a body of 30 works, these unlike his earlier works speak of pain and desire to come to terms with what life has dealt him. The subjects are pared down to the very core = what does it all mean? How does one tackle the flesh? The desires, the unsaid wishes. They are of diverse subjects but what binds them together is the presence of emotions; be it the musician singing a soulful song or a head, each convey a passion. The choice of colours is bold and the strokes strong and unwavering, together they create a painting that not only moves the viewer but stuns with its intensity.  It is basically about how I started painting and continued my dream even after i faced difficulties in my life. The Love for paintings never died in me. Paintings are everything for me even after I had an paralytic attack.

(Artist : Avinash Godbole)
How long did it take for the artist to paint these pictures?

I paint almost 100 to 150 paintings a year and in this exhibition I have put up selected paintings which were recently painted and which depict my life.

How has the journey been for the artist throughout the making of the series?

Inspired by my own recovery from a stroke that left me crippled 11 years ago, and the gradual re-picking up of the brush one hand at a time. I started off his career by paintings which included diverse subjects ranging from sexuality to philosophy, explorations of the human mind and resurgence from pain. The thing that binds his paintings together is the presence of emotions in him.

What according to him is the most special  bit about showcasing the paintings?
To look around my life and my paintings and to show the world that being a handicapped person I can still paint like them. I never complain about being a crippled person as i wants to prove that I can still live a life like a normal person

Tell us about your journey. How did you motivate yourself to make the paintings and how difficult was it?
I know the pain of being landlocked when your heart dreams of flight. I had a long and fulfilling career in the world of advertising, where I donned many hats; creative director, illustrator and mentor. Over the years I won many accolades and gained respect as an illustrator whose lines spoke volumes about, sometimes more than the words. Looking back it is difficult to tell whether I would have continued in the same way but life had something else in store for him. I had a stroke which turned my life around, but I never gave up, I was supported by my wife. I did not pick up from where  I left but forged a new path. I chose the metaphor of line and colour to express my life after a stroke in my paintings. I picked up his pencil again, this time with my left hand. It was a slow start. It was like learning to paint all over again. I realised that my brain was still intact: it had ideas, creativity, a vision for beauty. It took three years to train my left arm to bring that vision to reality. I started painting full time after he retired as an executive creative director. Three years ago, I came up with a series of 25 paintings describing my tryst with the stroke. My doctor encouraged me to use my works to spread awareness and give hope to stroke patients on life after the stroke, then began a series of exhibitions in Mumbai and Delhi. I was also invited to exhibit my paintings at the World Stroke Association's conference in Brazil in 2012. Hope is the message I wish to convey to stroke patients and their families.
Are you looking at art as your alternate career now? It like I exist because I paint. This is not an alternate career me. Now this is my life, my passion and i lives for painting as painting has give me new lease of life. 
(Spotted Sunil Padwal and Tathi Premchand at Solo show by Avinash Godbole)

( Report courtesy AP PR )