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Sunday, 31 March 2013





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Jagath’s paintings, a lavish display of colours

Jagath Kosmodera hails from the busy environment of a town that offered him a variety of subjects whose art impressed him from his early childhood. He was born in Colombo on April 21, 1963. He showed artistic inclination as a schoolboy and did sketches of birds, animals and human figures on paper, the blackboard, and the walls of his house.Jagath completed his school career at Mahanama Vidyalaya, Kollupitiya. His schoolmates did not assess his talents, but believed he was intended to be an artist. After leaving school he applied to many leading companies to start life as an artist. To give him a chance, the editor of a leading newspaper offered him a series of picture stories in the monthly magazine titled Sree, With the opening Jagath realised that drawing was indeed his vocation and in 1980 became a full-time artist. Then onwards he did not look back. His reputation as a popular picture story illustrator grew into great heights. In 1997 Jagath did story illustrations known as Captain Vonrayan, Sakvithi Real Police which became very popular among readers. He also worked in reputed advertising agencies in Colombo and in Dubai in various capacities as a visualiser, senior art director and creative director. Apart from doing commercial art, he painted life-like scenes in oil, acrylic and water-colours.

One of his paintings

Jagath Kosmodera

Like many artists Jagath is a lover of nature and his canvases depict wildlife, birds, village beauties and beautiful landscapes. He was fascinated by the human body on canvas, and depicted a meticulous technique in a lavish display of colour that pleased the eye. Jagath painted homely scenes of life in the town and the country.

The texture of a brick in a wall, the minutest description of a cobblestone in a street, he painted in amazing craftsmanship. They were the masters of the medium of light and shadow. He cared little about decorative effects, but dealt in low tones. The wide range of subjects such as ‘Elephant Transporting Timber’ ‘Herds of Cattle’, ‘Bhikkhus back to Temple’ and ‘Women after the Harvest’ are a blaze of colour transmitted into living art.

Jagath saw beauty in ugliness and divinity in things humble and small. He retained his natural simplicity. His paintings, a criss-cross of tangled trees, and streams lead the eye to the sky where the hot sun hangs low on the horizon, shooting rays through flecked clouds. It it surprising to note that not many in our part of Asia today, have made it the principal medium of expression, despite its close affinity with Oriental art. In Sri Lanka it was Gate-Mudliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekera, the doyen of painters, G.S. Fernando (who excels in the medium) Bertha Jansz, David Paynter, Manjusri and George Keyt are the outstanding painters who have contributed most to its survival and raised it to the artistic level of oil painting.

At present Jagath is engaged in working for an exhibition depicting the Sri Lanka Panorama which includes religious festivals, ancient temples, waterfalls, busy streets of Colombo, Adam’s Peak, rivers, sandy beaches, and black and white sketches in water-colour and acrylic paint. The exhibition titled ‘Thambapanni Sancharaya’ will be an attraction for art lovers and tourists. It will be held on April 5 at the Lionel Wendt. Jagath’s paintings are mostly bought by tourists for their private collection. He runs his own advertising agency in Dalugama, Kelaniya.



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