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A Master of craft

A Master of craft
Highlights

You know the artist from his works even without looking at the signature on the canvas The cosmic force of creation and the infinite divine consciousness captured in a vibrant mosaic of form and formlessness through blues, grays, indigos and yellows interspersed with charcoal black lines, in one glance convey stillness and movement, vastness and constriction and dynamic energy in the form of the

You know the artist from his works even without looking at the signature on the canvas. The cosmic force of creation and the infinite divine consciousness captured in a vibrant mosaic of form and formlessness through blues, grays, indigos and yellows interspersed with charcoal black lines, in one glance convey stillness and movement, vastness and constriction and dynamic energy in the form of the unmistakable crimson dot that holds you in thrall.

Yes, art lovers reading these lines would know that the creator of distinct canvases with a haunting quality portraying Shiva and Shakti and silhouettes of beautiful men and women in their likeness, with lowered eyelids and unmistakable energy compelling undivided attention and undisguised admiration is none other than Sachin Jaltare, a master of the craft. Works that have a gripping narrative to be perceived by the viewer have within them striking structures and landscapes, esoteric symbols and abstract drawings that reflect the spiritual quest of the artist whose works by his own admission blossomed as he looked inward for inspiration.

Walking into his studio in Kundanbagh strewn with canvases and paints one can see the transition of the artist from the earthy colours and drawings of earlier works to the later ones replete with grey and black shades brought alive by contrasting hues. “I love grey as it is a colour that reflects the in-between spaces and thoughts. It has a mystery, a possibility that adds expansiveness while black reflects our ignorance of the unknown and unexplored self,’’ he says.

The swathes of blue and grey also add to the freshness of the imagery where forms seem to manifest out of the shadows. From an agnostic to a spiritual seeker who sees the outer world as a manifestation of the inner, he found that Shiva defined the principle of nothing and everything, all that is there and beyond.

Jaltare’s Shiva, however, is modelled on the strong rustic men from the rural milieu of his childhood in Maharashtra who whipped themselves with thick ropes (akin to the Potharaju’s in Telangana) and exuded raw power. “My childhood fascination perhaps led to these Moustache sporting Shiva’s in my works and my friends often tease me that I am painting myself” he laughs.

Drawing birds and other works inspired by his father who painted as a hobby Sachin Jaltare studied Fine arts in Nagpur and landed in Hyderabad in 1991 after securing a job as a graphic designer with an advertising agency here. He took up painting as a full-time vocation inspired and encouraged by senior artists from the city like Sanjay Ashtapure, Laxma Goud and Thota Vaikuntam.

At his very first exhibition in 2000, Jaltare’s paintings were sold and he found validation for his art. Yet he was swept by a strange restlessness, feelings of despair and dejection that led him to seek answers. His spiritual quest took him to the “Art of Living” guru Sri Sri Ravishankar completely altering his life through new insights. “My inner turmoil was quelled and there was a blossoming of spontaneous creativity that imbued my work with a new vitality. My canvases were filled with work that emerged out of awareness and calm,” he adds.

His series of paintings with a water pitcher as a subject is based on the talk that he heard from his guru which dwelt on the fact that the emptiness within a pot and outside are the same, but it is its physical form that enables it to become a container that is useful. This analogy applied to the human body too, where that the physical form of humans is meant to be a medium of service enshrined in the saying “Paropakaarathamidamshareeram” (the human form is meant to be of service to others), a thought that set him thinking. One of the paintings based on this theme currently being exhibited under the title “Swayambhu” has two faces around a pot, one ugly and the other beautiful reflecting the contradictory traits or duality within man’s existential state.

The exhibition being held after a gap of nine years opened to a thundering response with the venue filled up with art lovers and admirers that was humbling for him as an artist. This remains one of the many unforgettable incidents in his journey as an artist. There are others too. Sachin Jaltare recalls fondly an incident where an admirer from Bengaluru persistently called him with the request of visiting his studio. When he finally did, he went into one of the rooms and did not come out for a while. Jaltare left his work midway and went to check on him only to find him standing before a painting with tears flowing down his cheeks. Another incident pertains to the time when he was woken up from his afternoon siesta and actor Saif Ali Khan was on the phone with a request to visit his studio. Stating that his mother Sharmila Tagore was a huge fan, who had many Jaltare paintings the actor bought some of them for his personal collection.

Apart from painting Sachin Jaltare has an excellent collection of pen sketches that he has executed to perfection. His work is varied encompassing paintings on oils, acrylic, a mixture of both and charcoal and he look forward to working on ceramics in the future. He has done riveting sculptures too and is forever experimenting and learning from his experience. He shows me three incomplete canvases on which he started painting simultaneously. “When I am executing a painting, I suddenly get a thought or idea which may not fit in with the work I began. I quickly put it on another canvas as I do not want to miss the fresh insight. If I recall the thought later, it would be merely a memory lacking the freshness that was there when it emerged,” he says. So, what does the future hold?

“I want to do more and more abstract work for sure. I love appreciation but am not feverish about it. You may be a Picasso or a Hussain but one day you will leave everything and move on to another world. It is more important to enjoy every moment of life’s journey,” he is clear. No work is ever complete the artist feels stating clearly that progress is never a full stop. It is rather an inverted comma where anything can be added or removed. I cannot agree more and endorse it wholeheartedly with a crimson Jaltare dot of approval.

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