K. N. NARAYANA MURTHY

b. 1942 Hyderabad, India

WORKS   |   BIOGRAPHY   |   EXHIBITIONS

SELECTED WORKS

BIOGRAPHY

 

NMportK. N. Narayana Murthy comes from a family of eleven brothers and four sisters. Already at a young age, Narayana Murthy gradually began to lose his hearing. Without his hearing aid he has been practically deaf for years. But this handicap does not plunge him into despair. He even sees it as an advantage. When he concentrates on his artistic work, he switches off his hearing aid and can immerse himself completely in the silence of the creative process. He needs this silence, because his artistic activity is for him an almost mystical act – his service.

At the age of six, Narayana Murthy's fascination with symmetrical blots of paint began. His father was a post office inspector, so he had access to paper and ink for stamp pads and experimented deeply fascinated by the ever new and surprising results with ink blotches over which he folded the paper to create a random symmetrical pattern.

Early on Narayana Murthy chose a peculiar acronym as his stage name: Manani. It is the abbreviation of the first two letters in his mother tongue Kannada for his name Narayana, bracketed by two terms that mean "psychic" (manovaignanika) and "hidden" (niguda). For he regards himself as an artist, who through his art transports mystical, hidden contents of the human soul. In doing so, he makes use of the random arrangement of spots of paint, which become symmetrical forms by folding the paper. With an alert higher sense, he recognizes visionary forms in the blotches, which he creates involuntarily and with a few sparing additives he releases the form from the indeterminate. 

For Naryana Murthy many pictures are mystical manifestations of Hindu deities, symbolic and allegorical set pieces from the religious life of the Hindus, scenes from the great epics of his homeland, the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, but also Christian symbols play a role. Sometimes they are only representations of animals, humans, and fantastic creatures. All these emerging shapes come to him without any action on his part. He sees himself as a channel for the manifestation of a transpersonal reality. 

Narayana Murthy experimented with many different painting media. For most of his early works from the 1960s to 1980s he used oil paints. At the end of the 1980s, he began to work with printing inks, into which he mixed various other materials such as color pigments or fine granite powder for the texture, the so-called "rangoli" as the Hindus use it to daily sprinkle the traditional patterns at the doorsteps.

Narayana Murthy worked as a mechanical engineer at Hindustan Aeronautics and in 2000 he went into early retirement. Since then, he has devoted all his free time to creating his mystical images.

EXHIBITIONS

 

2017 Elysium, Galerie für spirituelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany, 8/31/2017 – 10/21/2017
Since many years Narayana Murthy exhibits privately at one of Indias biggest day-long art fair, the Chitra Santhe, held yearly in January in his home town Bangalore, India.

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