ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
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Nevertheless, the human being is created in such a way that, instinctively, he oscillates between the desire to more freely
express himself and the innate Pavlovian reflex experienced in his work. Consider, for example, my paintings. By instinct, the
central point of my portraits is the look. This is an instinctive concession made during my architectural training. On the other
hand, the body, with its flowing clothes, the material with which I clothe my models, are a means of avoiding the architectural
straightjacket.
Even in this domain, I keep returning to my first instinct. I cannot prevent myself from “building” while reducing the masses of
colors and the clothes that I want to represent. Every self-respecting painter knows that his internal “construction” will always
influence his creation, and the more he tries to escape it, the less he will succeed in doing so.
George Oommen
“Good architecture is when it is used by people.” -Benjamin Thompson,
Architect
 “Good art is when it moves you.” -Sundaram Tagore, Sundaram Tagore
Gallery  
If we were to combine the philosophies of Thompson and Sundaram, that
is where my artwork lies. As a trained architect from The Harvard Graduate
School of Design and painter from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in
Boston, my professional projects have naturally married the two disciplines.
In my role as Project Manager at Harvard, I was placed in charge of
selecting all consultants, and overseeing the design and construction of
multiple projects. I was fortunate to have worked closely with New York
based artist Janet Nolan on a series of installation pieces, one in particular
being “Nightingale.” Nolan was commissioned to create a sculpture for the
Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building at the Harvard School of Public Health
in order to better utilize and engage the vertical space of the seven-story
atrium. The final product was lightweight, easily maintainable and visually
ethereal.  The site-specific sculpture both enhanced the visitor’s visual
experience, and, as it was integrated with
the architecture, created an active space.
Through my artwork, I conversely try
to bring architectural elements to a
two dimensional plane. As a native of
Kerala, Southwest India, I draw upon
my experience with and knowledge of
traditional Kerala architecture to introduce
movement and perspective to my art. One
critical architectural element in Kerala is
a rolled screen made of bamboo that is
hung at the exterior edge of verandas.
This screen is rolled down during rain and
monsoon season to protect the interior
from rain and to reduce the glare from the summer sun. The slits between the bamboo frame the natural landscape and
create multiple views.  I sometimes incorporate this architectural element into my paintings to create an illusion of depth.
When photographing my artwork, the camera has difficulty focusing on both the layered vertical/horizontal lines of the
bamboo partition and the interplay of color, light and shadow that lie in between. Similarly, the viewer is challenged, actively
looking at and engaging with the canvas.
1
 Genocchio, Benjamin. “Architect as Artist.” New York Times. 21 Nov 2008. Web. 17 March 2013 <
.
2
 Giedon, Sigfried. Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition. p. 489. Google Books. 17 March 2013. <
kGMwC&pg=PA489&lpg=PA489&dq=Sigfried+Giedion+%B+bauhaus&source=bl&ots=LwDr6OCvA7&sig=63NUcRgDzSZOErY-WLnyevkH0qs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gk-
U-UcK6H6Wu2QXiv4GYBw&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Sigfried%20Giedion%20%2B%20bauhaus&f=false>
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