Glimpse of the changing world in Roy Thomas’ paintings

Contemporary artist Roy Thomas painting Deep Within 2

Contemporary artist Roy Thomas painting Deep Within 2
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In Roy Thomas’ deeply imaginative work, past meets the challenges of today. His canvas has shades of meditative bliss and an innocent appeal that is rooted in the socio-political context of the times we live in.

From Rajasthani, Mughal, Pahari, and Deccan miniature master artists to the most celebrated modern and contemporary artists, Roy’s palette of inspiration is as varied as his canvas.

In his last exhibition, “Near the confluence” (2019), the Delhi-based artist from Kerala created a dialogue between the characters painted by Raja Ravi Verma and the characters of his then-contemporary European artists by juxtaposing the elements of their art with his distinct imagery. In Deep Within (Arushi Arts), Roy is more focused on the most valuable sculptures of all time including his contemporaries.

Delhi-based contemporary artist from Kerala Roy Thomas

Delhi-based contemporary artist from Kerala Roy Thomas
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“These paintings come from my anxiety and assumptions about the shocking reality of the fast-changing climate due to global warming and its impact on the most valuable creations by humans,” he says.

Engaging with questions about the immorality of ideas, ideologies, creations and their existence for three decades, Roy has negotiated the possibility to paint a less-explored area. He paints familiar images immersed under water or abandoned for a long time. “It was a new challenge for me to paint, but at the same time, I enjoyed the possibility of exploring a new area in my journey as an artist.”
Describing his evocative work, The Halo And the Priest, Roy says, we learn from history that the most celebrated creations and ideas remain unknown for generations, till rediscovered. “Mohenjo-Daro sculpture priest is an example. I painted the image floating in the backdrop of a huge old cathedral with an image of a hand which reminds you of the creation of Adam by Michelangelo.”

Contemporary artist Roy Thomas' painting The Halo and the Priest

Contemporary artist Roy Thomas’ painting The Halo and the Priest
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Similarly, Near the False Entrance is an image of a sculpture by the most celebrated contemporary American artist Jeff Koons that looks ignored for a long time standing near a false door of a temple structure. Then, Deep Within 2 shows a lion capital from Ashoka’s period left submerged under deep water. “The colours of each painting project the new situation in mind,” he says. .

Politically informed, one of Roy’s past works captured a newborn sleeping on shattered glass with the Gaza conflict zone forming the backdrop. It made a statement. “The changing world order and changing political situation where we deliberately ignore the lessons learned from history bothers me like any other citizen. It is an underlying layer in my all works.”

(At Kalamkar Gallery, Bikaner House; Till November 30; 11am to 7pm)

Contemporary artist Roy Thomas painting Near the False Entrance

Contemporary artist Roy Thomas painting Near the False Entrance
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

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