B. 1966

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The cultural environment in Kerala where Shibu Natesan was trained as an artist helped him develop his humanistic understandings and sensibilities and led him to contextualize his own work in the present situation. His images are collected from the media and popular culture, and represented with humorous intervals in his work. The distinctive quality of some of the works, based on photographs of archaeological remains such as the caves at Ajanta, is heightened by the use of metallic paint on canvas. Realism enters with a tutelage of urbane fables in his work, but never overpowering the vulnerability of painterly limitations.

The critical realism, Shibu’s engagement, is generated from his reflections on the presuppositions of everyday life and he achieves it by transforming them into metaphors. In his work, the use of photography is more literal in which he has been able to displace or subvert the meaning without altering its appearance. They seem to be a part of a process of feigning which resembles the original to a startling degree, but which in fact prompts a set of readings which are contrary to what was intended, thus displacing the meaning without significantly altering its appearance.

The artist lives and works between Trivandrum and London.

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