T. V. SANTHOSH (B. 1968)
signed 'TV Santhosh' and inscribed 'T.V. SANTHOSH - 2008 OIL ON CANVAS SIZE: 4' x 6'' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
48 x 72 in. (121.9 x 182.9 cm.)
Painted in 2008
S. Merali et. al., Blood and Spit: TV Santhosh, The Guild Mumbai and Jack Shainman Gallery New York, 2009, p. 76 (illustrated)
Zurich, Avanthay Contemporary, A Room to Pray, August - October 2008

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Lot Essay

TV Santhosh is one of the leading contemporary Indian artists working today, who rose to prominence in the late 1990s. Rife with political commentary, his paintings reflect the complexity of current and historic global crises, wars, terrorism, and violence which resonate on both the global and local level. Santhosh's immediately recognizable style achieves a photorealistic appearance that touches on his interest in media imagery and also places the viewer in a position of participant-observer, forced to bear witness to often unsettling moments of conflict.

This painting exemplifies what has become Santhosh's signature style: bold, explosive colors set in the photographic negative, reversing light and dark areas of the canvas. Two armed men appear to be riding in a combat vehicle, their faces hardened, determined and almost resigned. Violent streams of yellow bisect the picture, at once infusing a sense of motion and a haunting stillness. Is this a historical reference, or a haunting premonition of battles yet to be fought?

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