The achievement of the well-received realist painter Dileepa Jeewantha was not so much in innovating, but his relentless struggle to dig relentlessly deeper into his own soul.
His brief but very dynamic involvement in the field of art exhibitions with its strong expression of inner struggle marks a remarkable presence.
In doing so, he strengthened and expanded the viewer’s understanding of the familiar characteristics of figurative paintings, while at the same time challenging them and opening up new dimensions to his subject.
Among these familiar characteristics are the relationship between the artist and the sitter, the figure and its inner life, the artist’s philosophy and the exhausting process of seeing and painting reality and, finally, the viewer’s place in it all. . In Dileepa’s latest artistic encounter “My Golden Line”, they all consciously merge exquisitely, and his descriptions of the paintings are bold and witty.
my golden line
Her face has been her artistic subject as well as an object for some time. In ‘My Golden Line’, Dileepa has largely succeeded in painting her own face, capturing her deep, unspoken emotions, while equating flesh with oil paint.
Her vividly worked canvases depict different dimensions of her own face which aggressively conveys the unbearable realities of life. His solid youthful flesh weighed down by the experience of life, an unbearable tolerance and timidity tells the hard but intense story of an artist in a pragmatic society.
‘I want to laugh!’, ‘I can’t smile because I’m trying to live the truth!’, ‘Not all smiles show happiness!’, ‘Happiness is created by balancing hope!’ are some of his witty yet overly deep lines that he regularly throws at his viewers on social media regarding his “My Golden Line.”
Dileepa’s tenth solo exhibition, “My Golden Line”, is a good example that shows the effort required to get the picture painted. His rough, smeared, liberal brushstrokes that spread liberally across the canvases offer unforgiving views of the fleshy, thick, bent or stretched visible bones of his face that are confused, sad, pensive or empty. Every depiction displayed is sensational yet remains intensely inexcusable of its expression. Nevertheless, it is quite evident the artist’s enormous respect for his model – his own face, but completely shut down his emotions leaving no place to hide.
As Dileepa describes in her artist statement, her face holds the key to her unspoken soul. Being a trained visual artist, painting is his medium to reveal his “truth” in life.
“Painting always speaks to me but I don’t understand what it asks. But I know it always teaches me to live in the truth,” Dileepa said.
After a relentless expression of each realistic depiction, Dileepa made a line of gold leaf that describes the truth he learned during the process of delving into his soul.
Walking through the darkness of Paradise Road Gallery, the viewer can experience more of his raw and brutal impression of life.
The banality of “My Golden Line” is her eyes that are eerily calm and tightly closed, but they are metaphorically open to the truth of her soul. It seems that his willful ignorance of being honest in life may be symbolized by those tightly closed eyes.
However, whether he is just an illusion or staring at us with open mouth and closed eyes, the great auto-dramaturge remains curiously unknowable.
Dileepa Jeewantha has been doodling and drawing since childhood. Initially, it was chalk doodles on the floor and on every square inch of the walls of his house. As he got older, his obsession with art drove him to dig into the subject and he learned the visual arts inside and outside of visual art schools.
Dileepa holds a National Higher Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design at the National Design Center and from 2003 to 2006 with more success from the Certificate Course in Painting which he completed under the mentorship of Professor Chandraguptha Thenuwara at the VAFA Academy, he evolved as an artist with a love of oil on canvas.
His early career as a painter was influenced by abstract art, but his often austere and alienated paintings later led him towards realism. Dileepa identifies as an intensely private and reserved man who likes to hide his true emotions and harsh criticism of pragmatic society in his daily life. However, as he says, his paintings are the mirror of his soul.
Given his outlook on life, his constant search for meaning in his existence, and his skepticism of institutions and conventional social norms, he could be called an existentialist. But Dileepa likes to describe herself as an artist in search of a meaning in life, in her life in particular. In his early works, he painted his wife, newborn baby, and family members.
‘My Golden Line’ is at Paradise Road Gallery until October 6th.