Every artist is unique and so is his depiction of people, places and surroundings. Recently, we came across the works of Ranganath Krishnagiri, a talented artist whose compelling work titled The Discover India Series which features the Heritage Site, Hampi, is a class apart. We spoke to him about his work and his constant inspirations as an artist.
Tell us a little about your background. What inspired you to become an artist?
I have been drawing since the age of five. I graduated from Chitrakala Parishad with a master’s degree in fine arts. I am an artist, illustrator and a designer who draws inspiration from subjects in my immediate surroundings and life around. I am fascinated by vintage architecture, machinery, machine parts and gears, street art, typography and abandoned automobiles.
Can you share with us your view of Hampi as an artist? What made you choose Hampi as a location for your artwork?
Hampi is a great mix of heritage, culture and natural scenery. The play of strong light and shadow on the boulders and rocks, the ruins that standout from scattered boulders and flowing Tungabhadra river merging into blue skies and green fields create the perfect setting to attract the artist in you.
Hampi, to me, is a place where I come for soul-searching, and spend a lot of time gazing at the vast landscapes in order to find new inspiration. The ruins build the foundation on which I can base my imagination and piece together the missing puzzles in my mind. It’s like reading a well-written poem and making your own conclusions.
How many projects on Hampi have you done so far? What other projects are you involved in or would like to be involved in?
My previous projects have captured the extraordinary landscape of Hampi in the form of detailed sketches and drawings. Through ‘Discover Hampi series’, I wanted go beyond the obvious and capture some of the popular spots in a different light — celebrating the richness and cultural abundance of the heritage site.
From your blog, we got to know learned that the famous Watch Tower was your last artwork.
The first project:
The first artwork of the series was the Ugra Narasimha.
The most difficult:
The most difficult was Virupakasha Gopura. It was quite a task to keep up with the symmetry and balance of the structure.
I don’t think any of the drawings or sketches were easy to make. Each piece is unique and takes a considerable amount of time.
My favorite is the Chariot at the Vittala temple. It’s an imposing structure that captures the spirit of Vijaynagara empire.
We were always told as children — pay attention to the detail. That’s been a constant inspiration.
Finally, what makes you keep going back to Hampi and why?
The overwhelming beauty of the Vijayanagar ruins, the simplicity of life, the river Tungabhadra and the vast green landscapes scattered among the marvelous boulders compel me to keep coming back to Hampi.
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