‘Passion’ describes the artworks and artistic journey of Somnath Bothe. His pieces were initially inspired from Paithan in Maharashtra where he hails from. He has a deep-rooted connection with the region. All of Bothe’s works are a dive into his favourite landscapes and places, and his relationship with art that traces the path throughout his personal life. Ever since he was a young boy, he dreamt of being an artist as he created earthen toys in his village. Bothe knew of nothing that preceded his thought of emerging as an art maker. That’s what he did, that is what he does, it is what he wants to do, forever. But as the lives of many self-made artists and creators that rose with their work, or some with a varying degree of emotion, his journey was not without struggle. Financial hardships and struggles though slowed his pace, they gifted him a sense of perception as he subsequently touched the ribbon of his hurdle race.
Somnath Bothe, Rhythmic Monsoon Ride, 2019, Acrylic, 91.4*152.4 cm
All that and more merges in his journey with charcoal, acrylic art and colours in specifically themed series. Being a farmer’s son, he has a special affection towards rain. Monsoons in particular are times of boon for the soil on capped land, and scenes of the canvas. Water is one of his favourite elements.
In the Banaras Series, he has reserved motivation from the sacred ghats, the evenings spent on them and the bright lights of the sanctified place. Banaras is like a set of twins within one. They look the same, but they feel utterly different, unique in their hospitality. All his sequences hold knowledge and history as intrinsic values in his works, having attained ideas from the Goda Valley Civilisation to legendary historical figures: Kabir, Tulsi Das, Gautam Buddha, Patanjali, Mahavir, Shankaracharya, Ramanuja. He is working on his ‘Sadhu Series’ that reflect an aloof, but inalienable part of our regions, their worldviews and notions of life.
Somnath Bothe, Holi Banaras, 2019, Acrylic, 76.2*91.4 cm
Deep blue, ashen and rustic hues of maroon work their way into his art pieces that form elegant series when considered in entirety. For him, art is a way of living and attempting to make sense of the chaotic elements of his life.
Bothe reminisces his own journey and personal life in the dreamy reality of his paintings, and the excitement that buds through all that passion in the art, in turn shaping his life as a fabular spirit: strong, sweet and soulful.
Somnath Bothe, Holi Banaras, 2018, Acrylic, 76.2*91.4 cm