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Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Senaka Senanayake 1997' (lower right)

Private collection, Germany

‘Decency and tolerance, humanity and existence, beauty and balance’ have long been at the forefront of Senaka’s works. His paintings are a reflection of the values that are rapidly disappearing as humanity turns it back on the earth that it dwells in. Despite the violence, Senaka paints the beauty of the vanishing environment, the rainforest, and its vibrant colours always having in mind the Buddhist thought and the flora and fauna of his country. He paints the natural beauty of the landscape with luscious fields, plants, animals and people and portrays them in his own style therefore reflecting his concept of happiness. Senaka painted figures of men and women completely devoid of eroticism which can be rooted from his deep understanding of the resemblance that lay between the Buddhist and Hindu culture. ‘He has documented through presence of wildlife creatures along with human in what is their environment, painting their magnificence with a fervor that is fierce as the creatures themselves’.

A vital element of Senaka’s spiritual journey was the visit to Shri Satya Said Baba of Puttaparthi in India which impacted not only his spiritual life but also his artistic endeavour. His approach to painting changed drastically after meeting Baba as he started to reflect positive mood on his works through his colors. Transparent bubbles as in this work have been an identifying element in Senaka’s paintings—signifying the eternal cycle of life which 'in some sense represents the acceptance of the fact that Nirvana is beyond the reach of the majority'. (Harsha Bhatkal, Senaka, Vijitha Yapa Publications & Popular Prakashan, 2008.)

Senaka Senanayake

(b. 1951)
A Sri Lankan by origin, Senaka attained fame early in life as a prodigy for his works of art. He held his first international solo exhibition at the age of ten, in New York. Although he painted copiously and held many shows both in his native country as well as abroad, it was only after he went to Yale school for graduation in Art and Architecture did he realize that his true calling lay in the field of art. For the past decade, Senanayake has concentrated his art as a medium for environmental advocacy: depicting beautiful scenes from the rainforest to promote public awareness of environmental degradation in his native Sri Lanka and around the world. Senanayake's work shows a fervent passion for nature's beauty and a great knowledge of the flora and fauna of the rainforest. His work has been shown at most parts of Europe and South Asia with critical acclaim. Till date he has more than 100 solo shows to his credit, and numerous group shows in the countries of Europe, China, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Czechoslovakia, Korea and Egypt to name a few. His work has been documented by Metro Goldwyn, British Movietone News, BBC TV, London, Yeo Soo TV, South Korea, TV Austria, and Star TV, India. Various journals, magazines and newspapers such as The New York Sunday Times, Washington Post, London Times, Weser Kurier, Germany, UNESCO Features, Paris, National Geographic Magazine, Asia Week and many others, have devoted their mediums to document Senaka’s work. He Lives and works in Sri Lanka.