M Balaraj

With child like scribbling, Balaraj, a self taught printmaker, expresses his personal experiences observing people around him. The fairly large wood-cut prints are engraved with vigorous lines. The chisel marks with entwined strokes cut through the natural wood texture creating unpredictable abstract forms. Wood-cut is a relief printing method, where various chisels and knives are used to carve the grained wood planks. The carving is planned according to the desired print surface, which are to be created by gouges of different forms. At times it is attained by carving against the grains. The gouges do not hold ink when it is rolled thus the negative surface is used as printing area. He exploits the natural character of ply-wood building up graffiti like imagery. His passion for the medium taught him technicalities. The anonymous figures, at times, appear as tormented people that the artist comes across. He preferably elects wood-cut as his chief medium. Perhaps, the expensive zinc, copper plates and linoleum have compelled him to choose an inexpensive wood-cut medium. With the grooves and cuts made by repeating chisel strokes he gets an effect of a wounded body. On the surface the carved wood soaks the ink leaving the highlights of the soothing mild colours.

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