Srinivasa Reddy: Juggling the past and the present

Reddy’s work reveals an attitude of mockery and sarcasm instead of reverence towards power

Money and power hold a central place in Srinivasa Reddy's subversive narratives. He juggles with the idea of money, power and their counterpoints. There are some works where the Mahatma is remembered by re-enacting the pose of three monkeys, but Gandhi himself is missing even in the currency notes hung in the background.

In other works created using a montage of assorted post cards from the British era to more recent times, the historical past and the present co-exist in uneasy silence. Here one can see a plethora of images including kings and pehalwans being served by ordinary people wearing branded underwear. There are images of medals of honour and Gandhi with the charkha alongside an elephant with a pile of dung. Kings appear in full regalia, but the artist's reaction to power is that of mockery and sarcasm instead of reverence.

The images painted on the postcards have no immediate connection to the content of the humble postcard carrying mundane information suggesting a disconnect between commoners and kings. But this disconnect makes a subtle point about the day-to-day struggle of ordinary people which continues despite shifts in political power.

Srinivasa Reddy has completed his diploma from the School of Art, Tumkur and his post diploma from Bangalore University. His solo shows have been held in Chennai and his work has been shown at various group shows in different parts of the country. He has won a national award at the 55th National Exhibition of Art. A solo show of his recent works was held recently (March 2 to March 30, 2018) at the Apparao Galleries, Chennai.

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