“It means light watching,” he said. I sat there a little confused. I’m not always confused when it comes to art. The he further explained, “it’s about knowledge that seeps through light. A clear mind, enlightenment and new knowledge of things.” Yes, okay that made sense.
Anjanam is different. At first, all you’d notice are coloured strokes on a framed canvas. But then, as Anup Vega explained, the light shines through. There is a great deal that is unknown and in the dark, very much like the man himself until you question, probe and take a double look to get to know more and finally find the light. To be quite frank, he’s a humble soul. His work therefore is just as humble and honest.
“I find that although this is a hobby to me, it’s my safe escape and my passion. I believe that one should not do anything if they are not passionate about what they are doing. What is the point in that? There is no time and schedule for me to paint and find something inspirational to relate onto a canvas. When there is light inside of me, in my mind and in my heart, I paint. It keeps me happy. I am not always sure of what I want to do or what I want to paint but that’s really not important. It’s not important to think too much about something, even painting. It must comes from the heart and one must let it be at that,” he said.
Some of the paintings look like as if they are of landscapes. Scattered bits of grass perhaps, deep blue skies, what looks like water lilies floating, and beautiful sunsets. One painting in particular is painted on three sheets of paper. When questioned about why he did this, was this a concious choice (as in part of the idea of the painting) he replied, “unfortunately my answer has nothing to do with the idea behind the image. I wanted to paint something a bit large and didn’t have sizable paper. Paper that large would have cost me a lot but instead I painted on three sheets of paper because it’s much cheaper.”
The humble man. It rings in the head after a walk around the gallery and a light conversation with Vega. Then there are a series of painting that somewhat look like self-portraits, or are they? The artists himself cannot say. On some canvases, the images look disturbed and then on others they look more proportioned and clear. “It’s a clear reflection of the emotions I personally go through. I paint when I am sad, happy, feeling lost, have found light and even in hunger. Every little emotion changes the outcome of my work,” he said, and that is why I believe his paintings are different and truly one of a kind.
Vega uses a mix of mediums to paint. For this collection of paintings, he has primarily used water colours but on other occasions he likes to dab in oils, acrylics and whatever he has at hand at the moment he is personal driven to paint.
“Many would not see it as it is, but painting is a luxury to me. When people talk about freedom of expression, they often do not see it in the form of painting. But that is what it is to me. I have a great deal of freedom and I love that feeling. There are energies that surround you at all times and these energies translate onto my work. Sometimes I paint in black and white and then sometimes I use a great deal of colour. These can be easily understood through the paintings that have been picked out for my exhibition,” he added.
Anjanam is currently been exhibited at the Barefoot Gallery until 25 November.