An arabesque of colour fusion
Wading through his paintings, I was lost in an arabesque of colour
fusion and light on diverse subjects he had put on canvas. The
multi-faceted painter, academic, professional all rolled into one,
Ranjit Perera is in a way responsible for the revival of classicism in
modern painting of Sri Lanka.
There is a total absence of narrative such as rippling cascades of
drapery shrouding the burgeon. Instead he goes direct on to his subject
that is distinct and positive.
He is not shy over his colour combination rather lets the brush
strokes produce the imagery that is in his mind. Little bit of modern,
little bit of contemporary, little bit of cubism, traditional, cultural,
religious etc and that is why I call him a multi-facted artist.
Ranjit Perera is exploding in artistic virtuosity. The beauty he
lends, the soft quality of life, the frenzied character on portraiture
of faces and the distinct lines causing their individual identities,
made me single out the faces of Lanka which I picked from his
The characters are very Sri Lankan and tantalizingly ethnic. He
paints figures with reverence and modesty that is a part of Sri Lankan
culture and abhors sexism.
It is laudable that Ranjit Perera managed a certain empathy between
his character-portraits and other subjects. I also discovered and
elegant variation on pastoral themes.
His subjects were varied and themes unlimited that one cannot
comprehend his endless search for the better. He is still to discover
the luxury of exposure from influences of art such as from the
renaissance, French Impressionists, Italian masters or from the Ajantha
Caves.etc. Sometimes I wonder whether Ranjit Perera wishes to retain
only the Sri Lankan identity or stretch his talents elsewhere out of his
homeland. I have not seen any foreign influence in his art.
He is geared towards natural artistic and philosophical development
that is very revealing in his paintings.
1. Confusion: A single tear drips from her eye as she ponders her
fate. Brushed up in all sahes of brown, rust, dash of cream highlights
the face. Do keep looking into her single eye; it will become real and
like a mysterious pool.
2. Street urchins: Cherubic, innocent but street-dirty, still
retaining bubbly, lively trusting faces. The artist captures their
expectations of a meal or a penny for survival in bold, dashing,
master-strokes in vivid colours.
3. Tea plucker: The subject that never escapes the eye of any artist
who symbolises her with our heritage. After a hard day's work, weary and
worn-out. She is ready to head home to feed her brood. Perera has
captured her inner thoughts powerfully in deep and penetrating sympathy
in life's struggle... using a combination of dark shades.
4. Selling her mats: She reminds us of everyone's grandmother,
cheerful though aged, still fending for grandchildren. The defiant
matriarch of Sri Lanka tells us of the strength of energy, leaving
behind generations. The artist has put a smile on her face, still
looking towards the future.