The title 'A Theory of Antithesis' is inspired by Hegel's idea of history and its progress. He says that the form of historical movement, the process or progress, is the result of conflicting opposites. This area of Hegel's thought has been broken down in terms of the categories of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. All things contained within themselves carry internal dialectical contradictions, which are the primary cause of motion, change and development in the world.
TV Santhosh (in correspondence with the artist, January 2010)
This work from 2002 is an exceptional, early monochromatic painting by TV Santhosh, with a rare example of the artist's self-portrait. Here, Santhosh juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated and opposing images side by side in order to generate new meanings from them. The left image is painted from a World War II archival photograph, showing exhausted soldiers in a transit camp. The right image is tinged with metaphorical associations to Buddhism and Christianity and relates to a story of Buddha's childhood - that upon walking, lotuses would spring up in bloom under the steps of his nimble feet. Although Santhosh features himself here, the pictorial language employed is an attempt to go beyond documentation of any particular moment or place; it is to generate dialogues of various metaphors blended with historical facts, in order to look into the angst of future.
During this earlier period of Santhosh's work, the artist delved into history books to investigate the inherent complexities of war, its political implications of terror and the stance of both ethical and ideological convictions. The resultant imagery he produced poses questions revolving around hate theories and a larger perspective of issues related to belief systems, liberation and nationhood; problems which inquire,"who is the real enemy?"