T V Santhosh

T.V. Santhosh
Counting Down (2008)
30 Fibreglass dogs, Steel, L.E.D counters, L.E.D strips, paint
Dimensions Variable

T V Santhosh

Born 1968, Kerala, India
Lives and works in Mumbai, India

One looks at the world through the tinted spectacles of ‘news reports’, that unroll the stories of massacre of innocents, spectacular highlights of explosions, flux of faces of people who make headlines, spitting the words of hate and arrogance and the kinds of propaganda campaigns that just struggle to hide nothing but truth. It is a strange world exposed and manipulated. A world where one does not know who the real enemy is, yet ‘terror’ is the common word for both those who resist and those who attack. It is one’s extended vision that construct and reshapes the perceptions of the ‘present’. And it is riddled with a number of eternal questions and a couple of ready-made yet elusive solutions, which I am interested with. It is the touch and smell of the ‘present’ I am dealing with in my works, in a process to find a solution, where the praxis of language becomes one with the perceptions of reality.
T. V. Santhosh

T. V. Santhosh is best known for his paintings. Throughout the 1990’s he worked primarily in black and white isolating single images in atmospheric fields of grey in paintings that owe something to the iconography of Pop Art and black and white press photography. More recently his paintings have employed the visual effect of solarisation, a process once popular in the 1960’s as a means of ‘psychadelicising’ photographic images. These skilfully executed paintings have a photographic quality that clearly appropriate references from print media, television and the internet. This solarisation in which tonal values are reversed in neon pinks, purples and greens are a defining element of T. V. Santhosh’s paintings sometimes assembled as diptychs juxtaposing negative (solarised) and positive images side by side. The tonal reversal acts as a deliberately provocative visual metaphor intended to reveal dark areas of society in the most vivid way. Santhosh’s subject matter deals with violence and injustice. His paintings are a comment on inequality, famine, terrorism and war.

T. V. Santhosh’s installation ‘Counting Down’ consists of the figures of thirty stainless steel dogs, each one mounted with a digital timer on its back. These are the dogs of war that Santhosh has described as a ‘reference to the Nazi dogs who would come before the soldiers themselves’. The timer on each dog counts down towards the end of the world. ‘Counting Down’ is apocalyptic in its vision, it associates aggressive imagery with the idea of totalitarianism and fascism, and a vision of ultimate disaster.