Man watching on the mind
When Desmond Morris wrote his celebrated work Manwatching, the entire genre of non-verbal body language communication was at best, a part of conjecture of a gifted few that picked up the clues and were able to contextualize
them. This when body language comprises 54 percent of communication & words constitute a mere seven percent! Basic movements and gestures codified to mean specific emotions in situations notwithstanding, socio-cultural mores
perhaps play the most significant role in the body language we speak. And even more significantly, save collective gesture is like a thumbprint. Like fingerprints these too are unique. Just observe people on an airport or a railway platform to realize the distinctiveness!
Satish Kale, the very gifted artist from the west coast of India, has pulled out from his mind’s eye, observations that are virtual nuggets of insight into the human body language. For the preoccupation of the human kind with itself is phenomenal. The near myopic involvement with our own toes and thumbs borders on the almost obsessive. Perhaps this is the reason same gender artists exploring their own ilk is always fascinating. The artist captures the way the human body responds to a myriad emotional and intellectual situation in a beautifully fluid manner.
He stamps a web of dash-like motifs on his canvas as his chosen surface. This in turn translates into symbols on which he superimposes the human form. This juxtaposition of space and form in turn recounts the journey of a lifetime
- the paths one took and the ones that one left untrod. Like the sub-text of an unsung song, the artist then proceeds to etch the human form through the undulating paths that constitute life. His style has seen evolution and a refinement that is rare. It is this refining of the spirit and the feeling of the human figure having undertaken the high and lows of any journey with honesty and integrity that are captured on Satish’s canvas like snowflakes-gossamer and fragile and at the same time just as unique and as the limpid drop of water that is snow.
Shorn of civilizational trappings, there is timelessness about Satish’s figures. As if they explore the connect between yesterday and tomorrow. The todays are not manifest explicitly, but exist at nebulous levels of spiritual advancement and intensity. It is a fascinating route to follow for both the artist and his audience for it explores the dimensions of the primitive right into the realm of futuristic science fiction.
For the imprint of the body, mind and spirit lingers on different stratospheres and decoding it to hear the unsung song is in the dominion of hitherto unknown. To find and establish the connect is after all the prerogative of the initiated. But the artist offers the platform and the take off point of a world that he has explored and is happy to allow one a peek-a-boo. It is a mesmerizing expedition with all the seeming simplicity of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to the
complexity of Alvin Toffler’s Future World.
Dr Alka Raghuvanshi