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Flamingo Flair

Artist Vikas Morey's proudest moment came in the year 1984. The J J Institute of Applied Art alum was then freelancing as an artist.

Written by Shruti Nambiar |
December 21, 2011 1:02:47 am

Mumbai-based colour pencil artist Vikas Morey’s exhibition,Natural Abstractions,dwells on the beauty of exotic birds

Artist Vikas Morey’s proudest moment came in the year 1984. The J J Institute of Applied Art alum was then freelancing as an artist. A national level competition to design the logo for Rajiv Gandhi’s pet project,National Youth Day,had been announced,and Morey’s design was adjudged the winner from among 14,000 entries. The honour fetched him 10 days of royal treatment in Delhi,a felicitation at the hands of the then sports minister,Margaret Alva,a certificate,memento and some silver coins. “I spent some good days in Delhi then,” he reminisces.

On Tuesday,Chembur-based,57-year-old Morey was in Pune,distributing invites to his fourth exhibition,which opens at Darpan Art Gallery today. It is Morey’s second exhibition in the city,and will feature 40 colour pencil portraits of his favourite subjects – birds and animals. “I love painting portraits of birds,” says the consummate pet lover. “The paintings have all been made using dry colour pencils,with no water mix at all. The ultimate effect is almost photographic,” says Morey. Morey had started as an ad agency exective after passing out in 1978,but quit after a few years to become a freelance artist. After three decades of the work,he decided to take a detour and ventured into portraiture three years ago.

Morey’s works are all about precise lines,like in the birds’ tails and plumage,and expert shading. He culls his impression of the birds and their hues from the close to 40,000 books he owns on wildlife and nature. “I keep the books for reference,and I make no modification in the birds’ colours or structure,” he says. But the background of all frames are for him to claim. The imagery could be of a tropical or evergreen forest,or of an overcast sky,or even floral patterns akin to greeting cards. “Apart from the paintings,I keep myself informed on these birds. I know their migratory patterns,their feeding habits,and all such details,” says he. The works depict birds like the Atlantic Puffin,the Blue and Yellow Macaw,Flamingos and Crowned Cranes,and also wild animals.

Morey has dedicated much of his artistic expression to colour pencils,but he knows very few artists who have adopted the medium. “It asks for immense control and patience,very few try it because of that,” he says. “Now it’s all computerised,so no one wants to indulge in anything time-consuming.”

Natural Abstractions opens at Darpan Art Gallery today and will run till December 27

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