The Colourful World Is On Her Fingertips
Vibrant colours breathing life into the canvas, Vini Venugopal needs nothing more than the colours, her fingers and her vivid imagination. Art connoisseurs rave about her work and even the eye of the common man can’t seem to look away.
Her work ranges from the realism of wildlife and landscapes to the outright fantastical. Her personal favourite is ‘Gehan’s Spa’, a painted snapshot of a memory of her son with his feet in the pond enjoying fish tickling his toes in their native place in Palakkad.
Vini has been an ardent lover of the arts and has been painting since the blossoming age of three. She definitely had an eye for colour and design as can be understood from her graduation in fashion design. However, it was back in 2012, this passion was revived. Vini’s then-toddler Gehan showed an interest to play with her acrylic paints, she made him ‘special paints’ with flour and food colouring and he began painting with his fingers. In an effort to aid him, she painted along, using her fingers and something struck. She finished her first painting and on receiving positive feedback from her friends and family, Vini began working on her second finger painting- the rest, as they say, is history…
Vini’s first exhibition took place in Thrissur at the Lalithakala Academy and it was called ‘Penart’, and as the name suggests, it was a series of art done with pen on paper.
Her second exhibition was dedicated to her finger paintings- visitors marvelled at her work and she got just the push she needed. Her finger painting of a seemingly ferocious tiger with piercing blue eyes set against an almost astronomical background was a crowd-favourite. She isn’t limited to just wildlife, though. In the same exhibition, her painting of children playing on the beach was widely appreciated too.
The process of creating a painting is a lot more long-drawn than one might assume. Oil paints take up to 8 to 10 months to dry completely.
And Then Came ‘Dexterism’
A true feather in her cap certainly was ‘DEXTERISM’, her solo exhibition which took place on the 20th of January 2020 in the Naila Art Gallery, Saudi Arabia. 29 of her finger paintings were exhibited in honour of His Excellency Dr Ausaf Sayeed, the Indian Ambassador. The paintings were all done using oil paints and a few of them were reminiscent of Indian landscapes and one was a “larger than life” size portrait of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
During the show, she also indulged the audience in a live painting session.
Felicitations and Honours
Vini’s paintings have now found homes in different parts of the world and breathes life to walls in galleries and homes in countries like Italy, Turkey, South Africa, UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and the USA!
One of her paintings called “A peaceful ride through the palm trees” sold by the SmartCoastExcellence Gallery for a sum of 12000 Euros, is her most-highly valued painting to date.
Her fingerpainting of His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud now finds its home in the stately Saudi Arabia palace!
In 2018, Vini received the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Women’s Excellence Award and was felicitated as the best artist (fingerpaintings) in Dubai, UAE.
She has collaborated with the Smart Coast Excellence Gallery, a reputed gallery in Italy and is one of their Painters’ Gold Members. She is also associated with the Naila Art Gallery, one of Saudi
Arabia’s top five galleries.
In 2012, Vini was part of a team of artists and volunteers who received Guinness World Record recognition for the ‘World’s Largest 3D Anamorphic Painting’. The event took place in Bahrain and Vini was one of the 120 artists who created this 24,716.96 Sq Ft three-dimensional painting titled ‘Piece 4 Peace’.
Finger painting, fundamentally what we all did as kids, Vini does at a level incomparable. To create a new piece, Vini dons a pair of gloves, dips her fingers in the paint, begins dabbing the canvas and lets her imagination run free, to create a truly spectacular masterpiece. Allons-y Louvre next, then?
This article has been written by Neha Nambiar.