“The historical location of Badami, as well as the innocence of the people there, who I find very hardworking and honest in all their ways, inspire me to capture their simplicity through my paintings.”
The simple, rustic folk of the Deccan Plateau in South India, with strong Dravidian (an ancient race in South India) features, are the subjects of J.M.S. Mani’s paintings. Mani chooses to depict his characters, the balloon seller, the women with a rooster, in a simple and uncluttered manner. The pulsating colours in his paintings offset the dark skin of his characters, creating a sense of drama in his compositions. And it is his colours and compositions which are expressive, rather than the figures themselves.
Born in 1949, J.M.S. Mani obtained a diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Ken School of Art, Bangalore. He won the Karnataka Lait Kala Akademi Award from 1981 and 1983. He has had 19 shows across India and in London. He has participated in 43 group shows, such as the SAARC Exhibition at the Chitra Kala Parishath, Bangalore and the Bharat Bhavan International Biennale of Prints in 1989. He currently lives and works in Bangalore.