Indian-born Deviprasad C. Rao (“Devi”) lived in Goa until he recently found his new home in Switzerland. Throughout his life, the Western, especially European culture has exercised considerable influence on Devi: Initially, through his long-term residence in the state of Goa – until 1962 a Portuguese colony with lasting effect by the Christian culture. Later, through many of his journeys to Europe: Culture, architecture and history of numerous European cities as well as by the art of Paul Klee and Joan Miro.
His interest for art goes back to his youth. It was nevertheless only at the age of 29 that he decided to become a professional artist. Prior to this, he went through a classical business edu- cation and pursued a career in marketing and public relations. Later he also worked as photojournalist. In 1999, he finally discovered his true calling through a self-developed painting therapy to overcome his own traumatic experiences. The therapy helped him to gain a better understanding of his own mental and psychological pains even as it opened avenues to his own creative potential.
Devi is self-taught in the truest sense. His unprejudiced mind- set, curiosity and his meditative approach help him in discov- ering new ways of expression and are the basis for his intuitive and distinctive painting technique.
In his view, an artist can find artistic inspiration on basis of positive as well negative experience. It is essential how you handle the experience, how it transforms you in a positive way and how you give expression to that transformation. Devi does not seek inspiration from the beauty of nature. To him, nature is perfect and therefore inimitable and devine. He views it with great reverence. Nature’s ability to offer relaxation and inner peace serves him as a ground for his creative work. He is fascinated by architectural and industrial objects created by man. They inspire him and consistently cause a creative resonance inside him.
For some considerable time, the world of factories and ma- chineries has become Devi’s source of inspiration. The series “Industrial Fragments” is inspired by factories, machineries and industrial parks in India, Germany, Great Britain and Swit- zerland. Devi was deeply impressed especially by his visit to the industrial park “Landschaftspark Nord” in Duisburg. In the midst of an industrial wasteland, one of the most impressive industrial sites in Europe has developed as part of the cultur- al heritage on the European Route for Industrial Heritage. The breathtaking view of the complex architecture of the industri- al site opened up new perspectives for Devi as an artist. The branched structures and elements of the pipes, shafts, convey- ing systems with the blast furnace, the gasometer, treatment plant, ore bunker and the coke storage bins all appear as parts of an artificial organism. Over time they have been affected by vegetation and absorbed by nature.
Devi turns this moulding mount of machine parts into his own visual and color world. A multi-layered structure filled with filigree abstract forms and minute structures. He works with lines, dots, dabs and various abstract forms. This is his inner visual language with its own grammar, vocabulary and syntax. Initially, he creates an art work by using coloured forms and then he re-defines them with lines and dots to suit his subjects or themes. In some of his works he consciously avoids color diversity. He composes the machinery elements in a suggestive way and lets the empty space speak for itself. Concurrently, he creates motion by defining invisible elements using lines and dots. To balance the composition he makes use of a variety of geometrical forms. The rhythm of his line is playful and intuitive. It gives the angular composition a light-hearted accent.
By creating the series “Industrial Fragments”, Devi wishes to share his fascination with and respect for man-made construc- tions, architectures and engineering skills. He enjoys their aes- thetics and appreciates their utility and value for the develop- ment of civilization. He feels obliged and pleased as he creates his ode to modernity through his work - a tribute to the genius of man.
- Araine Buffat