Contemporary Artists Collection
Shibu Natesan (b. 1966)

Shibu Natesan is an Indian-born contemporary artist known for his paintings that often explore socio-political and cultural themes. Born in Kerala, India, Natesan's work reflects a unique blend of realism and imagination, often using vibrant colors and intricate details. His early inspirations came from his father, who was also a painter. He graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Trivandrum in 1987 before completing his master's degree at the MS University in Vadodara in 1991.

Natesan gained attention for his hyper-realistic paintings that depict scenes from everyday life, sometimes infused with elements of fantasy or surrealism. His work involves a range of topics, including globalization, migration, and the impact of technology on society. He often incorporates symbolism and allegory in his paintings to convey complex narratives.

Soul Searchers depicts two "natural" males in the foreground staring into the distance while a sleeping dog is curled up at their feet. The background is composed of a flock of flamingos set against a clear blue sky. "In his paintings... Natesan tries to push the limits of the real to achieve effects that a photograph will never be able to reproduce. The challenge, as he explained in another context, is in bringing 'the impossible into the possible, and the imaginative into the actual'." (Somak Ghoshal, "Shibu Natesan: Stranger Than Reality," Livemint, 16 March 2013)

Shibu Natesan - Soul Searchers

Oil on linen, 70 3⁄4” x 95 3⁄4”