Friday 15 December 2017

It is not possible to step twice in the same river – Heraclitus


I am Premchand. I am very happy to present my work though this small book of paintings. I cannot put my thoughts in words, but you can read my paintings like a novel. I have painted various aspects of thoughts and forms as and when they stimulated my mind. They are my views, observations and conclusions in visual form. Variation in human nature teaches me to view the world through different angles. My paintings may not always appeal to every individual psych, though an intuitive mind would read the thoughts behind every painting, I hope to bring in good energy and contentment through visual appeal. My work will meet its ultimate destiny only if it has a deep impact on our life.

That is why I quote “My painting is better than sex…” – Tathi Premchand.

(Tathi Premchand studio- 2018)


Character, nature or simple colors symbolizing the psyche of a person, all find their way in my art. Being observant has helped me to add color to the feelings. Charged with the passion for painting. I feel myself grow with each and every work that I undertake. I wish to share to my feelings with the world, so I have brought my art into the arena where all art lovers could express their world by possessing the selected ones.

Tathi Premchand.

The sketches of the different aspects of the snail’s life are the metaphor of human life. In ‘Run from home’ a snail is seen leaving itshells. Just as the shell of a snail is the protective cover and a heaven for the tender and helpless life within, so also a fetus that starts growing in the womb of mother is safe and secure till it leaves the wombs. Thereafter life is full of struggle and dangers. Cautious steps and conscious efforts to be safe and secure slow down the pace of life. Most of the sketches representing the pattern of life are in black and white’ cause every individual adds color to life only through confrontation of various experiences. The life moves on, without being aware of its destination. The end is unavoidable and it’s different every individual.  The only similarity among all is the purity at the time of birth untouched by character pollutant forward movement through high and lows and then, the attainment of eternity.

Out of many characters, the one that forms the large part of his work is Woman. She presented in various facets. The books and physical presentation of these women project them as indomitable personalities. He discards of the view of the woman  being weak and dependent. In nude paintings, she is not shy and awkward but proud, and confident who is well aware of her sensuality and power, also capable of handling people affectionately without scruple. ‘I am not nude’ is the attitude that oozes from every part of her body and gesture.  ‘A woman with knife’ is an excellent work of her of her being sweet poison expressing most of her sexual whimps for selfish motive.

Tathi Premchand Studio

Right  from the birth bosom is inseparable from life itself, be they human beings or animals, it has a magical, soothing charm on young and old. The paintings are successful in electrifying and clearly portray various feelings such as motherly care, sensuality, pride confidence and so on.

Premchand  also presents the bleak side of woman’s nature. Her goals, aspirations, withes and desires all find way in his work. ‘Seven Desires’ portray a woman who always tries to find all those qualities in men, which she expects from her life partner. She fails to have that perfection in any man whom she meets. She has many friends, with a unique quality that she expects but the man of her dream always remain a myth. The prince on white horse represents that macho man whom she never meets in her lifetime. Her unfulfilled desire does not fight against her fate instead compromise with whatever she has.

A woman is demanding cooperative and caring, Along with these traits she nurtures self-pride which can be clearly seen on the face of a pregnant woman. Motherhood is a very emotional and possessive period in life of everywoman blessed with the power to bring A life in this world. In ‘Me and Mother’ the adorable to-be mother is full of love and care for the unseen child, who comfortably grows in her womb. She caresses her unborn child. The thought of new life engulfs her with the sense of prosperity.

Her apprehensive nature does not go unnoticed. The sudden changes in her mood, attitude towards life that change with circumstances are captures in paintings like ‘Cloud and Rain ‘and ‘First Rain.’ The posture of a girl depicts her longing and unspoken desires. The nature of a woman is always unpredictable still adorable in spite of all odds.

Man and woman together make the world. The union is a must for the cycle of the life to progress. This presentation is made through attractive figures and alluring colors. The contradictions and similarities are handled subtly. Throughout this series one observes that the male is more beautiful. Woman is sensuous. Premchand observes that male species is more attractive than their female counterparts, giving us the instances of the Peacock, Lion, Cock etc.

The Peacock is a recurring image and color blue is associated with male image to add to the beauty of the concept. The simple strokes are deliberately used to avoid any unfathomable feelings. Nudity and simplicity are the soul of these paintings.  Male’s tall, robust and attractive self and women’s sensuality, always seen attracting and repelling from each other,   like two blades are separated they become useless, thus man and woman depend on each other thought out their life.

There is also an urge for superiority and domination over each other. The competition continues. As shown in ‘Imitation’ a woman and man are in the Shirhasan position. But as we observe, we find ourselves wondering at the posture of woman. It seems disturbing; everywhere a woman is expected to follow the rules set for her. If she tries to complete with man she faces lot of criticism. He progresses is never appreciated and her character is always doubted in the process. Premchand is totally against this system of thought. He is not a feminist but believes in equality of sex. But competition is not always fruitful. Nature has carved both man and woman with a particular purpose and any attempt to go against it has a vulgar and awkward result.

Cruel and Cruelty brings alive various experiences that are lavish, livid, dumb and sometimes horrifying, “Cruel and cruelty” is one each topic that he deals with frankness, without being biased about the facts. Some paintings depict lust in animal form.  The brutality of human on weaker species of animals, the sacrifice of innocent animals is boldly painted.

In ‘Human Conservation’ a man holds a rabbit in his hand to feed the partner. This painting was made when partners attacked human in residential zones. The partner’s attack on human beings was tacked by providing them live animals for food. This is a cruel act on the part of human beings. To save himself and his children, man very brutally sacrifices other innocent living beings.

In this series we are confronted with innovative idea that taps our minds and we are bound to reconsider age-old notions. Not only the in the human act against the animals but even man’s atrocities against his fellow beings do not go unnoticed by the artist. An animal kills another animal only to fulfill its basic need, whereas man kills man for selfish motives and material gains. In historywe have the instance of well-known personalities being assassinated. Their thoughts to go against the set of rules stirred the minds of oppressors to such an extent that they were assassinated. Jesus too was no exception.

‘You and us’ and ‘Any answer please!” speaks of recent war between America and Iraq and the brutality the followed. The false pride and cruel egos are responsible for havoc in the world, disturbing the peaceful existence.

What is the perfect way to lead a life? If nothing is permanent then why is there a struggle for possession?  Life is never like we want it to be.

Premchand patronizes Buddha’s disciple Monk Ananda who is full of such queries, and  presents the stories where lord Buddha fulfills his queries, and presents the stories where Lord Buddha fulfills his queries by using illustration from real life. Though of ‘possession’ and dignified ‘self’ is the reason for our suffering. It is absolutely necessary have freedom from the vices of longing, greed and possessions paintings sensualizes the spirit sensualize the spirituality.  There are few elements and concentration is on the presentation of meditative effect. Brown, black and white are the basic colors used, symbolizing Nothingness.  The state where every thought becomes blank and mind reaches eternity. The beauty and the depth of subject are intensified with the mystic style adopted specially for this series. The faces are blurred and use of flowing robes act as catalyst for thoughts ideology portrayed. In ‘Play of Shadow of the moon. Along with the moon’s shadow, only me monk’s shadow is seen. The other represents the attainment of eternity, thus the physical existence is lost, spiritually reign. Attachment of the life often hinders us from path of truth. The paintings with a nail and scissor represent the sharp edges of want and attachment, which refrainus from achieving the ultimate destination of Nirvana. Buddha had always cautioned his discipline against blindly following what he said. Following one’s mind crucial, since it’s the mind, this guides us in our action. In ‘The wall’, the wall is nothing but our ego, which has to be transcended for the freedom from materialistic existence and enter the world of eternity.

Tahi Premchand File photo 1992

As confessed by the artist himself, his paintings are not just showpieces but are thoughts to ponder over. The simple forms and images of common things are pleasing to the eye yet speak of rebellion. As shown in ‘Mouth wide open’ three bowls of different size present the unborn. The technological and scientific development has made cloning possible. Isn’t it a challenge to nature?

Very often nature proves itself stronger than any other force. Our development and effort prove useless in case of changing seasons, earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions. Mother Nature has its own way of showing it true force, for good or bad. As in “Think twice’, a vulture is shown as a messenger of peace. It is true that vulture does not kill, but consumes the dead body. Vultures wait patiently till the living beings die before consuming them. Thus it is neither harmful nor cruel. For the artist nothing is useless or unwanted in nature. It is wrong to categorize any                                                                                                                                    natural creation as good or bad. Everything in nature works in harmony each other.

As we observe these paintings, we find variation in theme and style. Each painting is highly sensitive and meticulously presented. Some of them are painted in a grave and sarcastic manner and some are humorous too.

This and that’ presents the need of water, for some water is a luxury and for others it fulfills the basic needs. While presenting the contradiction in life, the need for food is highlighted in ‘Food’ where a man pulls a cart, balancing the earthen pot on his head and a very rich and healthy man enjoys the ride in the concerned about the cart puller. The very existence of living being is nothing but an endless rebel to achieve the unachievable.

“It is not possible to step twice in the same river.” –Heraclitus.

Throughout his career TathiPremchand proves it time and gain. He refuses his work to be categorized in any particular “ism ‘but is a blend of different genres. There is variety in his style. His paintings is equal to a navel or a book full of thoughts, where it stirs the every core of one’s being. The end result is excellent visual forms with deep insight into the matter.

Experimenting with different modes, styles and medium from mythology to modern science, from lust to love, from known to unknown, from fact to fiction, man and woman all are very well depicted in his paintings. 


Text from Pomegranate Tathi Premchand Book

Text by Pankaja JK 2005