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When six-pack abs become an inspiration for a painting series

Painter, writer, and installation artist Natesh Muthuswamy will be showcasing his paintings at an exhibition titled The Ghajini Cliche at Varija Art Gallery, DakshinaChitra.

When six-pack abs become an inspiration for a painting series
Paintings by Natesh Muthuswamy


The painting series is about cliches, popular ideas, and the glorification of artificially built bodies. “At the end of the Indian economic boom just before the global recession, I joined the New Delhi Garhi studios in December 2006. The variety of derivative contemporary expressions present there was so heavy and oppressive that one art critic who visited me commented without much thought: I was a comic book painter. I explained to her that I was living in a jungle of my own making, straight from the Phantom comics of my early childhood. Everything was so hectic in that kind of an economic boom that nobody had time to spare.

“Art became a big investment and there were all types of people carrying new money in their yellow coffee bags to buy art. I found myself sitting in the middle of great clichéd circumstances and decided to paint the cliché in a very colorful way. Six-pack abs were doing the rounds and every morning, the newspaper carried images of top superstars exhibiting their upper bodies. And then there was this super hit film Ghajini. The heroes of both the films, Tamil and Hindi version went to the gym followed by rigorous workouts, diligently developing their torso, in tune with six-pack abs, the fever that had

gripped the market,” says Natesh Muthuswamy about the series.

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