Anup Vega

Anup Vega’s works of art are those that widen one’s awareness. Each line and brushstroke alludes to the transcendence of nature capturing the magnetic appeal of the soaring skies, melodious murmurs of a rushing stream garnished by the sounds of hundreds of bees circling around the branches of tremendous trees signalling, the height of flowering akin to a poem of Robert Frost. Born in 1967 among the mountainous province in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, Anup Vega was drawn towards painting at an early childhood by a transcendental experience, a spell of light, shapes and textures. Anup’s work later transformed its direction towards inquiries upon self, harmony, the natural world and the nature of illusion. His works have been exhibited at esteemed local and international art galleries and festivals since 1997 including Barefoot Gallery, Heritage Gallery, Paradise Road Galleries, Saskia Fernando Gallery, XVA gallery in Dubai, Colombo Art Biennale and Edinburgh Fringe Festival to name a few. In this edition of ARTRA Magazine, we present a curated selection of ten works of art from Anup’s collection of myriad paintings and sketches from 1990 to date that profoundly presents in particular, the artist’s introspection of man’s relationship with the natural world.

“Everything inspires me. I only observe and never judge what I see. I mostly see colours, and I see them transforming,” states Anup, of which we found his abstract understanding influencing his works, drawing a poetic resemblance of that which we find deep within our consciousness. The play of colours that the artist has choreographed allows introspection to emotions and the layers of which they represent. Colours decode underlying emotions of humanity. Gentle, yet insistent, they create a state of mind, mirroring life in its purest form. Warm red and mild orange hues, a calming blue and accents of black are placidly aligned to elucidate one’s innermost thoughts invoking the mind to probe upon one’s own state of consciousness. 

In the process of selecting ten works from a plethora of Anup’s exquisite paintings and sketches from 1990 to date, we found the selected work unifying and exemplifying his inherent spiritual connection with that which surrounds him. Each work of art is a reflection of the candid compositions that strike his tranquil thoughts, assembling in abstraction and beauty to create and curate nuanced visuals of a deeper truth. As we chose these works, we were reminded of Anup’s musing on ARTRA Magazine E31, where we conversed and comprehended the intricacies of his artistic and spiritual journey. “I’m a vehicle, I’m an animal, so my works are a reflection of my spiritual journey. So I am watchful in what I stir in the minds of others. I want to be able to heal, help and ground people through my works,” he stated. 

The world at large is an obtrusive figment of grandeur, as man grasps at the helm to navigate its conspicuous ways. The tranquil and serene reflection of Anup’s works invoke man’s deepest consciousness and the eventual conclusion of life that we find, most intriguingly painted, clarifying the inalienable and significant notion that man is inherently linked to nature. These symbolic works vividly portray the understanding of the interlinking between creatures of this world, the curiosities of their meeting and the conception of the source of man’s energy and the universality of his existence.  

Anup’s works are interpretive as he paints the landscape in perpetual conception be it in the connectivity between land and sea or the portrait of man in musing, seeking truths. It is these contemplations of the artist that linger in the selected works of art on pages 22 & 24. The principles of spirituality and understanding are seeped in his paintings, of which the implications present themselves piercingly in the silent landscape of nature. 

We recognize Anup’s works of art even in the contours of the hillsides and waves of grasslands, his prominent signature of deriving the meaning of life through nature’s fruits bearing insight and knowledge to those in search of meaning. Perhaps when renowned artist Henry Matisse said, “An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language,” he was speaking of artists such as Anup Vega whose reverberations of life and soul are found in the still and moving aspects of nature. 

The anatomical indicators and their natural counterparts captured in his works of art such as those on featured on pages 20, 26 and 27 of ARTRA Magazine Apr/May E59, or the dualities of either humankind or his surroundings, on his featured works of art on page 25, or page 18, encapsulate Anup’s journey of spiritual findings and bodily transcendences. These ten featured works of art that flow among the pages of this edition of ARTRA Magazine are connotations of the infinite possibilities that exist in the balance of reality and imagination, yet are comprehensive of the abstract compositions of flesh and bone, root and trunk, sky and ocean. As the gravitational pull of the universe catalyses the to and fro of the waves of the ocean and the distant cawing of the bird, Anup paints and illustrates that which he sees from the eye of his consciousness. 

21st April, 2021 Visual Art | Paintings