Between worlds and people
Beauty, sunlight and silence stream out from the canvasses of Binoy Verghese whose solo at Palette Gallery after a span of eight years is a virtual illustration of his optimism and hope in the Chinese proverb 'May a 100 Flowers bloom.'
Figurative forms come with ease and elegance as he creates a sonata of feminine grace within which rests the cradle and crucible of agony and pain that co-exists in the lives of people the world over in a climate of great terror and avarice and hatred. People and places, different castes and creed everything combines into a confluence of communities that celebrate above all the beauty of the human spirit.
Nocturnes and the dance of puppets
Binoy creates pictorial themes out of his travels. The most important work in this suite becomes the triptych that echoes the nocturnal nuances of a water puppet dance in Hanoi in Vietnam.
Water puppets have a thousand-year history of gliding and dancing, seemingly of their own will, in Hanoi, Vietnam. As the puppets glide and dance on water, they re-enact vignettes of Vietnamese folklore. Serpentine dragons spit squirts of water. Lotus-crowned fairies pirouette to sonorous melodies produced by a traditional live orchestra.
"The traditional live orchestra and the singers all dressed in their beautiful attire is what fascinated me," says Binoy. "I took photographs of this scene; I came back and translated these photo realist images on to canvas. Yes, when I create a composition my choice of colours and the expression on the faces, the materials of their clothes and vibrant palette that I see becomes important and vital. For me this triptych shows the sadness as well as the sense of hope that is present in the lives of these artists who earn very little. In their darkness, I felt there was so much life, the different evocations at night with the music is haunting."
"The puppets embody the playful as well as aesthetic spirit that lives within the minds of the Vietnamese people," says Binoy, "They're like us with all their charms and foibles and difficulties and aspirations."
The beauty of the children
When he travels to different places –East or west bound, Binoy goes beyond being a foreign artist, those of us who know his work are aware that he has built his life and artistic career around the articulation of beauty in a tropical/cultural paradise.
"Whether I am in an Arab country for an Art Fair or visiting a mosque or a school, when I see the burkha-clad feminine faces or the innocent graceful faces of girls wearing a hijab, I am coming face to face with a narrative of the human condition. Suddenly, these veiled faces have an elusive elegance for me. When I see them in a group at a picnic or a visit to a mosque or famous place, I find the collective grouping an important symbolism," adds Binoy.
Confronting society in a subtle way
Here are recollections and reflections of girls/boys/women at leisure; women and children at the Taj Mahal; women in the marketplace or in the garden picking flowers. Added to that are images of little children specially boys in the attire of yellowed monk robes initiated for a journey in another realm. Amongst these themes, the image of the tree with yellowed leaves and bronze skinned women standing underneath is one of the most iconic and enduring in his oeuvre.