Breathing Art Into Life : Meet Hyderabad’s Most Talented Art Weaver, Prashanth Krupa Duth

Imagine chilling at a nice little cafe, with a steamed up cappuccino in your hand and a gripping novel on the table. In that scenario, with the pleasant breeze ruffling your hair, you look around and find some interesting artworks and graffiti on the walls around you. They start to grab your attention, making you to literally stand up and take notice. And you can’t help but wonder about the artist behind the artwork. Murals, Graffiti, Arts and Posters, and enthralling Pencil & Charcoal works, Artist Prashanth Krupa Duth is doing it all. Sipping coffee, tasting the brew, or plain hanging out, chances are ripe that you may have seen works of Prashanth impressing you all around. We loved his works, and couldn’t help but get in touch with him, trying to understand his art, his thought and his passion for producing the same, and more importantly breathing art into the busy city-life. The excerpts of this below…

You are doing fantastic work with Pencil and Charcoal paintings and also providing curated works for different stores across the city. Could you tell us about your inspirations and journey till now? What inspired you to take up this art-form?

I’m a self-taught Artist who believes that the very first humans who made those cave paintings, didn’t learn it from anyone else. In that context, You only get inspired and try to replicate it through a medium called Art. And by Art, I just don’t mean paintings. So basically, I learnt it with patience and practise. Also, I’ve terrible OCD when it comes to sketching, and that is where I ended up choosing ‘hyperrealism’ as my genre of Art. And especially people and portraits, because they are very intriguing. Getting the realism out of portraits has somehow become my passion.
And about me choosing to be a freelance Graffiti artist, is nothing coincidental. I always wanted to paint big. As I believe the bigger the canvas, the better the details. The journey started with ‘Sazio’ when a friend of mine asked me to paint the wall inside. I was as excited as when I was making my very first sketch (a bear to be specific).

Continuing the above question, when you take up projects for Stores across the city (For example Kavanah, Sazio etc), what do you look at while accepting the project? And what is your procedure to deliver really impacting murals and graffiti on curation basis? Also, which stores can we find your work at within the city?

Earlier I used to collaborate with another Artist friend of mine and we started working on few more projects that we got. Now, we’ve become a team of five. We usually go by the themes given by the clients, and then it all depends on the amount of intricacy in the design, and the type of the material used. Sometimes we need to restrict ourselves with the design because of the budget constraints (Yes, not all paints are cheap).
Also, there were times when the client gives us the freedom to do whatever we want and there were times when the client desperately wants something on the wall but doesn’t exactly have an idea what. In that case, we usually go by the place’s ambience. You can see our work at Kavanah (Jubilee hills), Kaafo(Sainikpuri), Sazio (Madhapur), Churrolto (Madhapur), DrunkYard (Gachibowli), Up the Bistro(Gachibowli), Karachi (Shamshabad), Agent Jack’s(Gachibowli), Tapioca(Madhapur) and ETC (some private walls)

Your works include pencil drawings of various celebrities (like Hugh Jackman in Logan). Do you keep them for your personal portfolio or do you intend to give them out for sale? And of all the celebrities which one’s did you find most difficult in recreating?

I’m sorry but my works just don’t include celebrities, let’s rephrase it to ‘my works include the people I get inspired from, the people I love’ And I absolutely take them as a part of my life, and I wouldn’t mind selling, although I’ve never put them on sale or displayed in any exhibition ever. I make them for many other different reasons than just to exhibit.
For instance, I’ve made an entire collection of six portraits of old people to depict their wrinkles, for I believed they are just not mere marks but they talk about life and experiences. and named the collection as ‘JhurriYom’
And recreating somebody was never difficult for me, I mean I somehow mastered the art of getting the proportions right. I only find it very challenging to recreate hair strands when am going by my hyperrealism works, and so I end up choosing pictures with less visible hair.

Graffiti and Pencil drawings are pretty different in the way you approach them. Which one is more challenging to you. And graffiti is not yet too popular in the city. Comment. While doing Graffiti are there any works you look to for inspirations? Any artists and galleries you follow?

Yes, they are different in their own ways. Graffiti is a freestyle and quick Art, and on the other hand, you need a lot of patience with the realistic pencil drawings. Now, I wouldn’t say Realism is difficult though it takes a lot of time because that is where I find myself. and I cannot call Graffiti is easy because it’s quick and more fun as I’m no superhuman to fly and paint them walls.
Graffiti is not yet popular in the country itself, It’s only now organisations like ‘Street Art‘ are supporting big mural wall arts by collaborating with artists. But, I’m sure it’s booming now. People now are looking for Art but they still need to learn, to respect the Artist. The value for an Artist or a Sculptor back then during the renaissance is just incredible. I believe every Artist needs somebody like Lorenzo De Merci that supported the artists Leonardo da Vinci and Michalengello. I usually admire other Artists works, Inspirations are found somewhere else. Coming to the artists and galleries I follow, I do that on my Instagram. Graffiti Artists like ‘Peeta‘ and ‘Odeith‘, they never cease to amaze me and ‘Emanuele Dascanio‘ as hyper-realistic graphite Artist.

What is the longest you have spent on making a curated work and for which store? What were the toughest challenges you face when you take up projects within the city? And how do you overcome them?

That reminds of my friend’s terrace when I had to paint his entire compound wall, all alone. It was straight up 18hours that I worked then as I was already so vexed working alone and I just wanted to finish that and get some sleep. And within the city, I never really faced challenges about the work I take up. But sometimes it’s the clients who make matters difficult. That said,  I’m now overcoming it by dealing with them in a much better professional way.

You’ve recently started your Facebook page “Xsprayssions”. It’s an interesting name, which perhaps means more of graffiti work than anything else. Was it intentional and where do you want to go with Xsprayssions. Also, we’ve noticed that you are not present on Behance/Deviantart etc. Is there a particular reason for it?

‘Xsprayssions’ is the name I chose to give to what I’m doing with the walls. It’s basically ‘expressions’ spelt with the word ‘spray’ as I really intend to depict the Art as an expression using the spray can. Everything about the name and logo is very intentional, the logo symbolises the top view of a spray can and centre of it is taken from my point finger impression. And it’s been quite a while I started the page on both Facebook and Instagram, although I don’t really keep updating them as I’m having a very special plan about Xsprayssions and I cannot reveal it now as I love giving surprises. I believe there are enough Artists on Internet already that could do what I do, I want to grow as an entrepreneur than an Artist now. However, I’ve got my Behance page for my pencil works.

Lastly, to people who are looking to take up Graphical and Artwork as their occupation in time to come, what advice would you give them. Also, could you suggest five things which every painter/artist should care about before taking up any curation work?

I don’t think I’m good at advising people. All that I can tell to people who create is ‘You tend to be the best, only when you come out of the illusion that is doing best, move back and look at the big picture, About Art, About Life.’ The advice I give to any person that is taking up curation works is to be diplomatic while dealing with the clients. Give them proper knowledge about what you’re going to do. Also, start making financial contracts while you go ahead.

So that was Prashanth talking of his works in the most candid manner. We hope to see him paint the whole city soon, and the next time you walk into the stores mentioned above, you know whom to thank, for the ambience. Here’s to him. Follow his works on his official Facebook page now and stay amazed.