Creative Spotlight: Ezhini
“Seeing and Meaning: A Series of 24 Abstract Paintings by Ezhini”
“Are these drawings? Are these paintings? Are these letters? Are these words? Are these symbols? Are these meanings?” Local artist Ezhini (pronounced eh-ree-nee) invites Wichitans to contemplate 24 new paintings at his stellar exhibition, “Seeing and Meaning,” opening tonight from 6-9pm at the Wichita Studio School (751 George Washington Blvd, Studio #111). Open through May 10th, Mon-Fri 6-8pm and Saturdays 9-1pm, this enchanting body of work is the fruit of self-described “obsessive” study, heartfelt devotion, and years of scientific & transcendental experience – best seen in person, in context, and at length.
I grew up in Tamil Nadu, India. I have been drawing for as long as I could remember. After five years in architecture school, I designed and built residences, luxury condos, and multi-story commercial complexes for three years in India. Then, I arrived at K-State in Manhattan, KS for graduate studies in Urban Design – particularly to study “people-place relationships.” With my background, what has been crucial to me is not the story strung together from specific geographical and chronological coordinates of my life’s ever-changing events. Instead, the background to my core investigation – all the way down to this current set of paintings – has been a simple but potent obsession: I have been obsessed with fully solving the mysterious riddle of being able to see a world outside the body. Our eyes see Light – from that, how is the Universe in our Mind constructed simply from information coming into this body as Light? This obsession of figuring out visual perception IS the very ground for me, not just merely a background for life’s events.
Heart: My Mom.
Mind: My Dad.
Tenacity: Vikamadhithyan is an Indian mythical character who kept at his task without falling for the mystical riddles of Vethalam the trickster.
Of things beautiful: Naboodhiri, Adimoolam, Durer, Rubens, Rembrandt, African carvings, Indian temple architecture and sculpture – the list will go on and on and on …
Of things that matter the most: Among a long list of people, these are just a few: Nissargadatta, Ramana, Huineng, Avvaiyar, Rumi, Basho, Saint Francis of Assisi, Joan of Arc, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and on and on and on …
Oh no. This is a list of 10,000 names! But here is the start of the list, in no order of preference: Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Durer, Jamini Roy, Ravi Varma, Rubens, Edgar Degas, Hokusai, Egon Schiele, Henry Moore, Sam Maloof, Wayne Thiebaud, Joaquín Sorolla, Andres Zorn, Adimoolam, and on and on and on …
What Do You Hope to Communicate?
I hope to communicate that Visual Culture is a 100% learned behavior. Thus, Visual Literacy as a conscious effort will provide sighted people a much richer life-world to live in, a deeper world of meanings and relevance to our everyday life, not just on the days we visit the art museum.
What can people Expect to see at “Seeing and Meaning?”
Definitely, a lot of exciting colors and compositions that frees the viewer from any expectations of right and wrong in seeing or meaning. This series of abstract paintings are completely diametrical to my portraiture, figures, still lives and any of my representational pieces. Come see both kinds tonight.
Advice for Aspiring Artists:
- While your overall life’s goals can be generic and foggy, keep your artistic goals specific – very, very & very specific and defined.
- Nothing beats practice.
- There is always someone better than you, so keep the motivation to keep improving.
- Never ever wander off, even an inch, away from fundamentals.
- If it’s not fun, don’t do it.
See Ezhini’s “Seeing and Meaning” at the Wichita Studio School (751 George Washington Blvd, Studio #111) tonight from 6-9pm. Follow Ezhini on Instagram at @e.zhi.ni, visit his website at http://ezhini.com/, and stay tuned for his next exhibit (of larger works!) this June at the new Cjoy Soulworks gallery at 110 N St. Francis.