Painting watercolours full time for more than 15 years, and having done 20 solo exhibitions, Prashant Prabhu, has been trying to expand the boundaries of landscape as a genre, through daily art practice; a kind of meditative ritual . His watercolours have been acclaimed for their definitive visual language, distinct from run of the mill pretty pictures, that the landscape genre has come to be identified with. Going towards minimalist ideal with each new suite of works, Prabhu revels in bold washes and minimum details, but not just painting ‘atmosphere’ without any thought or content. Saying just enough, but not depicting everything, Prabhu shows faith in the viewer; that she has an ability to imagine…to connect the dots.
The themes are varied. So is the execution part, differing with each subject or composition. His Guru’s advice that artist’s style may be his signature but not the painting itself has been his mantra. So Prashant has made it a point, of not repeating his paintings…in form, composition, subject or technique.
The places he has visited, to paint on locale or for taking photos, are for him, nothing but references. He has no qualms if some don’t recognize the place or it seems unrealistic to a degree; Nor he has intentions of dazzling with technical wizardry that most watercolour artists aspire too.
He has off course mastered the skills, but he will rather show off his thinking prowess in landscape compositions or convey his responses to the city life through his cityscapes. And skill or technique, doesn’t mean traditional know how either. In search of the mystique and minimalist ideals, he has dropped the constraints of age old rules of the watercolor medium.
Prashant Prabhu syas “For past two decades, watercolours has been my only medium to express in what is quintessentially minimalist approach towards landscapes. While not limiting my search to, rather avoiding any traditional techniques, subjects or methods like on location painting, I have kept faith with the genre.”
“I never felt landscape need to be a depiction, however artistic and original of some place or time of the day. I have looked at landscape as a composition you paint taking help of some place or location. Now a days the landscapes I paint are imagined, mystical but not of a fantastical kind. They are based on my memories of travels all around India and bit of abroad. They are places similar to what you may have seen, familiar yet not identifiable. The minimalist approach I take to painting watercolor, adds to the whole effect.”