The man's body is sacred and the woman's body is sacred,
No matter who it is, it is sacred … …O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women…
Walt Whitman / I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC
The human body is closely related to the mind.
Sharanu Alloli belongs to that group of artists which is at once attuned to the outer experience of the body and an inner journey of the soul.
Sharanu possesses not only innate talent and skill, but also an open mind, self-belief and appeal. Hailing from a rural area in Karnataka the young artist has trained himself professionally and already made a mark in a relatively short career span. As importantly, he has allowed his art to evocatively combine child-like innocence with a strong conceptual understanding of life and personal experience.
In the course of understanding and recounting his situations and predicaments, Sharanu almost exclusively looks at the human body. In his own body as in his art, he notices things which are mysterious and intriguing, delightful and enchanting. The body becomes a strong metaphor and inspiration for situating his ever-changing moods, manners, struggles and amusement. In doing so, his art also realizes the diverse possibilities of beauty, freedom and transcendence.
Sharanu mingles his strong suits with humility to make good art. His methods are simple, refined and exceptionally scrupulous. For him, creative life is nothing but a process where every moment produces something unique; and where the creative well can never dry up. Even fleeting and seemingly innocuous gestures, movements and feelings hold the seed for deeper introspection and exploration.
It is to the credit of Sharanu that he does not allow the (literal and symbolic) ‘background’ to define, describe or decorate his physical environment. The background of his images is almost always an empty space, filled with a single colour – more often than not, red.
One might perceive a seeming monotony in Sharanu’s technique but it is that very technique that makes him a unique artist. The manner in which he approaches his canvas, draws his figures, and then painstakingly works on it shows him more as a seeker than a preacher. The million sharp strokes that each of his images bears is not just because of a well-honed technique but because it is part of an intense and meditative act.
Another pertinent aspect of Sharanu’s art is its profound rejection of intellectualism. There are no symbolic objects, metaphoric gestures, or allegorical signs in his work. His acts are simple, gestures austere, movements unpretentious. He does not allow his canvas to be a space for romantic interludes or emotional pretensions.
Inquiry of the self is intrinsically linked to Sharanu’s art. One can imagine that when he looks himself in the mirror, he does not see just himself but his many selves. His important pieces are also those which lead him to probe and even question his identity: “Who am I?”… “Where have I come from?”… “What is my next step?”… “Where do I go from here?”
As a wise man once wrote, some of our secret selves can be very difficult to live with. It becomes even more difficult if our secret selves are kept locked in the closet. Artists like Sharanu allow these secret selves to spring out occasionally, and - unmindful of the consequences - bring them to life through their art.