ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 47

Semage’s modest brush with Picasso

By Dhananjani Silva

Innovative painter that he is, Jayasiri Semage’s most recent venture is to interpret Picasso in a new way.

Semage who wants to add a new dimension to his art featuring the essence of the rural community, their way of life, customs and rituals, is aiming to present Picasso’s characters in a traditional oriental style. While Picasso’s art, was full of revolutionary sometimes shocking images, Semage says his would be more discreet.

“Picasso sketched scenes of night clubs, brothels, taverns and pubs etc but I am trying to remain within my aesthetically pleasant rhythmically eastern confines. What I will do is to give a more Sri Lankan touch to Picasso’s concepts,” Semage says.

“Also Picasso has used reds and blues and more elaborate colours in his paintings- colours that have a greater affinity to sex- whereas I decided to use more sober colours such as yellows and whites,” he adds.

Semage who tries to explain his latest creations on Picasso citing an example says that while Picasso depicted an erotic scene of a brothel, he opted to depict a harem of an ancient king thereby conveying Picasso’s theme in a different way.

Asked why he chose Picasso’s paintings in particular, Semage says that when he travelled abroad, there were many instances that he had come across the Great Master’s paintings in so many other countries upon which he felt the greatness of this unique artist.

Having thoroughly observed his works along with the knowledge that he gathered by reading books on Picasso, Semage then decided to undertake this mission.

Meanwhile, an exhibition and a sale of Semage’s creations will be held from April 26 to 30 at his Semage Art Gallery at No 3, Lihiniya Avenue, Station Road, Mount Lavinia from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

His exhibition will consist of 50-60 paintings done using oil on canvas and water colours out of which there will be five or six of his ‘Picasso paintings’.

“For the exhibition I will be displaying the modified version as well as Picasso’s version to make the viewer comprehend the difference.

There will be various items from small ornaments, colourfully painted pots to large oil paintings at the exhibitions at various prices for those who wish to possess an item to decorate their home,” says Semage.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.