Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Twenty First Century

Economic boom was not ever lasting but it could testify the enduring aesthetics of the Malayali artists. For artists who lived in Kerala and worked as well as, the Kerala artists who lived and worked elsewhere (called Malayali or Mallu artists), the economic boom became an occasion to exercise and display their very special aesthetics informed of socio-political realities and also polished by the global aesthetics. Binoy Verghese, Sumedh Rajendran, Gigi Scaria, George Martin, Shijo Jacob, Josh PS, Sukeshan Kanka and so on belong to this crowd. Artists namely Abhimanue V. G., Prabhakaran, Madhusoodhanan, Reghunathan, Murali Cheeroth, Vivek Vilasini, Rajan Krishnan, Mathai KT, Antony Karal, Ajayakumar, Ratheesh T, Bhagyanathan, Aziz T. M., Zakkir Husain and so on became prominent during this time. A few women artists from Kerala also could establish their presence; Sosa Joseph, Sajitha Sankar, Jalaja Mol, Priti Vadakkath, Siji Krishnan, Usha Ramachandran and Dodsy Antony to name a few.

The art scene of Kerala is quite open today. It has touched a global scenario by showing a verve to negotiate the local and global visual cultures. Along with the technological developments, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, graffiti art movements, activities of private art galleries and organized street art movements conducted by the Arteria Group in Trivandrum have helped in engaging the visual culture in an unprecedented way in the recent years. Kerala has all the ability to grow this visual culture further; what it needs is the right direction, strong theoretical basis and heightened engagement between the artists and the viewers, besides creating an environment for these to flourish by the media.

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