Animals have always been an underlying theme in art. Whether artists have used them literally or figuratively, with or without human subjects, they somehow command the composition and make meaning in ways previously unimaginable. Throughout art history, animals have served as vessels for happiness, distress, environmental issues, gender studies, and more.Most Artists have a fascination for animals and we can see them being reflected in their work. Here are a few artists who use animals as their main subjects and the best thing is that all of them are Affordable under 50,000.1. Murali NagapuzhaThe familiar language of painting has landscape as background for some context in the theme. Traditional Kerala paintings such as floor pictures done in colour powder or mural paintings did not even warrant a situation to have landscape at all in the works. Landscape is a fragmented nature articulated compositionally to enhance the meaning of the context, to contextualise an episode or even to give an atmosphere of scenicbeauty. Nature as such has only a secondary existence in all such works from Renascence period onwards or in the miniature and Ravi Varma. In India nature is more a motif than just a background in the painting and in modern period it is almost like a referral point.
The greenery of the land, a sign of fertility is a generalised concept about nature but each place has its own green/flora specificity. Even when nature is depicted the flora represented in the painting is more connected with the ideologically acclaimed landscape flowers like lotus and Water Lilly, Trees like Mango tree or some other aristocratic ones.The locally specific species of flora and fauna almost envelops the whole canvass sometimes even eclipsing the human presence. Only tribal’s are projected as equal to nature, but in all other contexts, nature is embracing wholeheartedly the children of the village showing the ethnobotany of the locality. Some time works become a leafy plant painting with all the non aristocratic grass and papaya like plants. The canvasses tries to give a balance of green with green, the monochrome green shows the ethnobotanical nature of Kerala. The green splendour of nature depicted is not a just a landscape. It is the essence of the earth, earthly atmosphere, children, butterflies, small huts with eco-friendly existence, or it is the essence of NATURE BEING, AND AN EXPRESSION2. Suneel MamadapurWorks, primarily built around an edgy Surrealist vocabulary with its associated shifts and substitutions of images and visual registers, are deeply concerned with the ethical dimensions of contemporary life. My vehicle of choice to stage the dilemmas that face Modern man is the fable, a genre that has had the capability to marry topicality with a populist and didactic aspect that can address a wider audience. And allegorical imagination is tied to an urgent moral imperative and utilises all the linguistic means that the genre puts at his disposal in order to uncover the iniquities that lie hidden beneath the codes that govern social life. The works resemble parables in their structural and linguistic organisation, drawing upon the minutiae of everyday life which are often combined and recombined in surprising and unusual ways in order for it to be able to deliver its ‘message’ in as succinct and unmistakable a form as possible. Fables, however, by their nature are not wordy; requiring a rather stringent economy of means for it to be effective, and by that same token is not really fertile territory for ‘interpretation’. 3. Bijita SharmaBeing born and brought up in “Assam” where nature is an integral part of one’s life, I always feel there is something wonderful in the beauty of the Nature.
Nature’s brilliant glories enchant people and reawaken a special bond that has been established since this earth exists. I feel a profound connection with nature. Nature stirs my mind with its mystery and makes me manifest it in some way, which eventually took a form of painting. It opens me up to the wonders of the world. Constantly appealing and haunting me with its secrets. When I close my eyes and allow myself to soar across the landscape of my mind, my place of happiness has always been high up on the branch of a tree, away from the business of life and the noise of the city. Our struggles and harsh realities are transcended when we open up ourselves to the small and large spectacles of our universe. The physical components that make up nature, every little creature, or a leaf or the fun, movement by any animal or bird are like symbolic to me.The beautiful part of these artists is there unique way of depicting their animals, some in their natural foliage, some in a quirky way, some steeped in surrealism and magic.Come lets be part of these artists journey in discovering what our spirit animals mean to us.
Artwork by Suneel Mamadapur