Ever met someone who makes you wonder why the world is not in love with them because they’re just so damn amazing? That you want to just grab the world by the neck, shove it down and say ‘Love it dammit! Just love it!’? Well I can’t really do that literally, but I can try throw it out there and hope for the best.
This person I’m about to ‘introduce’ is someone of that calibre. Someone so amazing and talented that I want to hire a blimp, stick her artwork on it and send it around the world.
Madhri Samaranayake. The reason I use the word introduce is because she’s yet to get on all the big platforms like Reddit or Buzzfeed. She’s known, her artwork is known, but now it’s time for the whole of Sri Lanka (and possibly the world) to see the world through her eyes. Seeing the world through her eyes is quite breathtaking to say the least. I have seen her work throughout the years and I still don’t know how she takes the mundane and transform it into the extraordinary. This is not an ode to Dada or Van Gogh stuff, this is Madhri stuff.
“I feel like my style is still all over the place, but at least now I can put them into three broad categories, which are, children’s illustrations, symmetrical artworks and dark gig poster styled work. I also have an obsession with anatomical hearts and skulls so most of the time I’ll find an excuse to include even a tiny heart into my artwork’.
She has doodled as a child and also studied under Minette Muller (Carl Muller’s daughter). At school she had to study the standard Sri Lankan traditional styles and with her not holding any interest at that time, she was told perhaps she should look into another career choice and was forced to drop art as a subject. So after learning the basics of art, she said ‘oh well’ and went back to doing what she does best- her own wonderland. Maybe we should be thankful that she wasn’t stuck in a box and was still able to experiment more with her style. Her inspiration comes from everyday experiences: humour, whimsy, sarcasm and even books, music and movies. One of my favourite artworks was when she incorporated the Stormtroopers from Star Wars (see above).
Much like her artwork, her appearance and personality stands out like the appearance of the Death Star in the skies of a snowy Miami Beach. Yeah, we’d all flip our phones out. She loves polka dots and she loves the weird. She loves pin up girls and she loves Dr. Seuss. She will talk to you about her love for weird fantasy which you’ve never heard of and then talk to you about Jem and the Holograms. On which is more mesmerising, it’s a tie between herself and her artwork, but since you guys haven’t met her personally (lucky me!), go see her work and… *holding you guys by the neck* LOVE IT, DAMMIT, LOVE IT LIKE I DO!
Please note that all the images are hand drawn before being put into Illustrator or drawn directly on the computer.
(Also please don’t use the images without her permission, because as flattering as it is, it’s just not nice. Thanks.)