When art director Bala Govind Kumar tested positive, he decided to document his feelings through digital art and made a quarantine art series. “People express and document their emotions differently. I was tested positive for COVID in April and was quarantined in Chennai. I illustrated six self-portrait digital art that conveyed what I was going through and my emotions during the 14-day quarantine. I was isolated in a room and documenting the journey through art helped me stay sane. As an artist, I felt that doing self-portrait series to interpret the situation is the best way to express myself,” says Bala Govind Kumar, who is working as an assistant art director in films.
Though Bala studied architecture, he was inclined towards digital art and started focussing on that. “I was inspired by Trotsky Marudhu’s paintings about the folklore of South India. Some artists tend to follow the European or Western styles of painting. But they are not realising that folk art is the new international – whatever you see around has a lot of potentials to be documented as art. Instead of following any other styles, I started looking at landscapes and people in my hometown Tirunelveli. The inspiration for the self-portrait series is Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Her self-portrait during her lonely days fascinated me. Like how Frida portrayed herself to tell her life story, I did the self-portrait series for quarantine art. Another person who inspired me to do this series is G Chandru, former principal of Fine Arts College. A painter and sculptor, Chandru sir once said: Art is something living in the present remaining everything we do is interpretation,” he adds. Bala is currently working on a series called Misplaced Goats.