Human figure projected as the central element of the composition was a common feature of the Kerala art of 1980’s. In the beginning the situations was very hopeful and the young artists carved out themselves an interestingly no-table profile in the national scenario. But when the figuration of a peculiar kind, the high social concerns and the expressionistic overtones became the accepted criteria to judge a work of art and it later resulted into a kind of mannerism. Gireesh, during his student days in Kerala was no exception to the trends and situations of his time.
One could easily observe the occasional surfacing of these early influences in his works from 93-94’. But towards the end of the first year post graduate studies at Hyderabad Gireesh seems to have cultivated reluctance to any accepted compositional norms. The painter now sets forth a search for an expression in colour itself. In the depiction of the Hyderabad experiences, Gireesh prefers to seek an alternate expression in colour and form other than the human figure.
The artists experiments in colour, medium and the scale of the canvas widens the scope of his painting. during the year 94-’95, Gireesh’s painting underwent drastic changes. The artist no more employs the foreground-background distinction. The undulating biomorphic forms dancing in the vast and infinite space evokes the experience of a musical composition. The strong yet supple lines has a rhythm scaling up and down the picture plane. The rhythmic movement spreads to all over the composition. Ambiguity created through the hide and seek play of the forms is one of the notable features of these compositions.
Gireesh avoids the use of narrative content in the later works. Using the permutation and combination of the very limited motifs, he evokes infinite number of expressions of diverse nature. To the young artist, content is no more the master of form and colour. His reactions to the requirement of the composition such as the use of the red stripe of paper as the sail of a boat in a painting in black and grey paper to be very bold and dynamic.
Gireesh creates transparent yet ambiguous space with the open planes and forms. The photographer- painter keeps away his obsession for naturalism, chiaroscuro and photographic space for his photographic venture. But the photographic film sheet continues to be one of the means of the artist’s expression. Interesting enough, the textured surface of the prime coated film retains the glow of the fresh and vibrant colours.
Titles of most of the works seem to be irrelevant as it does not make the experience of the painting any better.Nanda Kumar. M, painter, writer, critic