Title: Fish Seller.
Artist: Raja Segar.
Dimensions: 21.5" x 32" / 55 x 81cm including 1" x 1" / 2.5 x 2.5cm white border. Limited editions of this poster, signed in acrylic on an enlarged lower white border are available on request.
Raja Segar was born an artist in Colombo in 1951. Hailing from a Hindu family of modest means, Segar self-tutored in the late 1960s and early 70s using the British Council’s library in central Colombo as his very own ”university of fine art”.
Prolific over the past four decades, versatile in that he is equally adept at oil and watercolour painting, line drawing and steel sculpting; cubist in style; radical yet compassionate in his depictions of Sri Lankan society ---- it could only ever have been Segar, the under-rated genius, who we approached to be our first Guest Artist.
In 1996, Segar’s wife Vejeyashanthinie died of brain stem cancer. She was just 29 years old. In the artists’ 19th solo exhibition held that same year he donated all sales proceeds to the Neurosurgery Trust Fund of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Since the late 1990s Segar has exhibited in major cities worldwide including London, Delhi, Singapore and Sydney. He will be featured in Art India magazine this Christmas.
At first glance Segar's paintings seem familiar, almost conventional. The cubism could be European while the vivid colours and pastoral scenes are quintessentially South Asian.
Yet on closer inspection you realise that what you are looking at is utterly unique. Segar paints Sri Lankan women like no other. He literally celebrates womanhood and exalts in the female form: long curving torsos with pinpointed belly buttons which, if one millimetre out of place, would ruin the whole painting. The eyes - sultry, pained, mournful, inviting men to a dangerous place. Segar’s art tells the observer that beneath all the complications, machismo jealousies and strict protocols of village life, women still reign and beauty can never be suppressed.
Segar had his fortieth solo exhibition in September 2017 at the LimLip Museum Congju in South Korea. His 39th solo exhibition was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Abu Dhabi in April 2017. He is a regular participant at the Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai Air Fairs.
Stick No Bills' Creative Director first identified Segar as our ideal seminal Ceylon / Sri Lanka Guest Artist for our fine art prints in 2013. The artist began his partnership with Stick No Bills shortly before his 38th solo exhibition in Colombo in 2014. Segar has since been a regular guest of honour at Stick No Bills' flagship gallery in Galle Fort, where he will next be signing copies of his magnificent autobiography - each of which includes an original Segar sketch on the first page - on Friday 26th January 2018 from 3pm until 5.30pm as part of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival Art Trail celebrations. Segar's daughter Spindonna is a fledgling graphic designer and No Bill Piece Prize participant.