Artist Maniam… if he was alive, he would celebrate his 87th birthday today. People say that it doesn’t take a lifetime to leave a mark in history, but a moment that connects people together. Artist Maniam had that moment and sustained it for 18 years of his artistic life. Though he lived only till his 44th year, he continues to live on through his art which has become eternal.
When people recognize me as his grand daughter and when I see online forums discussing about his illustrations for Ponniyin selvan, I wonder how did he manage to reach so many people and leave such a profound mark, with his work that too within such a short span.
This made me read those novels and truly understand the relationship between the story and illustration. I realized that the marriage of these two is so crucial to make an impact on readers belonging to the present generation who are exposed to movies, internet and other faster paced Medias. And I think that stories like Ponniyin Selvan and Sivakamiyin Sabatham has made it to be able to live all these years and I am sure my grandchildren will enjoy it as much as I did. People are able to connect to the images of Pazhuvettarayar, Nandini or Naganandi that Maniam had created.
Being privileged to detailed descriptions of the key characters from Kalki, the artist in him gave form to Kalki’s descriptions. The understanding between the author and the artist was so great that I have heard many people say that Kalki’s writing complimented Maniam’s illustrations as much as his illustrations complemented the story.
With all these thoughts in my mind, I am starting to blog about him and his works today. I hope this blog will be a starting point and a window to all fans of Artist Maniam to view his works and know more about him. This blog is intended to share information about his life and works, analyse his masterful renditions in art and to discuss his studies and references.
I begin this blog on his birthday with the blessings of my grandmother Smt. Saraswathi Maniam, my parents and in-laws and all those who had the opportunity to know him personally. Special thanks to my husband who initiated this attempt, family & friends for their encouragement and Mr Vijay (www.poetryinstone.in) for sharing his inputs to make the blogging experience better.
Together, we welcome everyone to join us in this journey of discovery and understanding.