Putting his signature on each work with extraordinary realism, RKV (Rajendra Kumar K.V.) is leaving art lovers awestruck. Charcoal, watercolour and oil painting are the favourite mediums of this artist from Kottayam, but charcoal is his forte.
It all started when he was a primary school student, listening to his father and drawing master during the art classes at school. “I seriously got involved with art during my years of schooling. My father was my first inspiration. He was also my drawing teacher at school. I started doodling and scribbling listening to his classes and could not stop carrying my sketchbook, papers and rulers wherever I go. One could find me drawing something in the middle of English or mathematics classes,” laughs RKV. “I was hoping to join art class. It was a tough period of my life. All I wanted was to finish schooling and join somewhere I can learn art.”
According to RKV, there is a philosophy in his way of doing a work. “I developed a kind of visual literacy and deepened my sensitivity. The feeling that I had to find my own voice and explore my own path kept growing to the point that I had to start expressing myself. There was an urge. I never paint for the sake of painting. The truth is, I have a lot of insights regarding the way I should work and I always follow them in my own works. When it comes to commissioned works, it’s not possible. When I have to select a subject, I don’t just Google it or draw someone or something from photographs. I want to take the photos of my subject or have them sent to me if the subject is far away. For example, I draw portrait works for foreigners, and then I request them to have a small photoshoot as per my storyboard and send the photos to me. That’s how it works. Here, I can go directly and take my subjects’ photos. These are all based on the emotional connection I get when I see someone or a place. Art is all about emotions.”
Through meticulous methods, RKV achieves an impressive level of tonality and amazing amount of detail. These jaw-dropping pieces take hours to complete, culminating in a portfolio that showcases not only the artist’s apparent skill, but his undeniable dedication, too.
“The medium that I use predominantly depends upon the subject and style that I wish to represent. Each medium has something unique that should best enhance the subject. When I work on a portrait, the style is closer to me, with strong contrasts between light and dark. For that, white and black charcoal is perfect. I do abstract or rough art using watercolour and oil paintings as more than realism, I want to convey the idea or vision behind it. And, I am drawing a subject the way I want to see it. The spectators may differ as per their point of view.
RVK, who is working at an ad and art agency in Bengaluru, says he is planning to conduct an exhibition of some of his works. “I am doing a series of charcoal portraits at the moment and hoping to do an exhibition back in Ernakulam. All those works are in the category of hyperrealism, which needs a lot of effort for the details. A couple of images that went viral were of the portraits of a lady and actor Antony Varghese. In those, the detailing was the challenge and I got many positive feedback for what I did.”
For RKV, art is everything and he says he cannot part with it. “There is a drive that I feel when I draw. I call it magic or the key to my success. I want to keep that magic all my life and for me, art is more than a job; it is what takes me forward,” he wraps up.