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Jonathan Dalton Ramesh and the artist Ramesh

oil on linen

183 x 152.5 cm

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work brims with bold beauty, visceral vitality and irreverent invention. Born in Sri Lanka in 1988, he and his family came to Australia as refugees in 1989.

‘I met Ramesh after a talk he gave with my sitter from last year’s Archibald Prize, artist Angela Tiatia, during which he said it was a person’s duty to protect and nurture the artist within themselves almost as a separate entity. A vivid image sprang into my mind of Ramesh the person holding the hand of Ramesh the artist,’ says Jonathan Dalton.

‘In essence, the painting is about the fragile relationship we have with ourselves as artists. Ramesh looks at us through the lens of a Hasselblad camera, shorthand here for artistic vision, while a Polaroid camera lies discarded on a floor littered with photographs of iconic works from the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection.

‘Photography has such a strangely collaborative and combative relationship with painting. Yet somehow that tension creates incredibly rewarding, vibrant ideas. It exists as both muse and rival – a dichotomy paralleled in the two Rameshs.’

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