Painting By Numbers
14 May 2022
Animation by Radheya Jegatheva
Imagine famous classical pieces of artwork reimagined to suit the modern world. That is what Radheya Jegatheva brings to us in his latest film, Painting by Numbers, as the typically neutral backdrop of an art gallery is reimagined into a contemporary context. This is an intriguing and poignant short film and equally chilling for good measure as we are forced to confront if the art that we view is looking right back at us.
Jegatheva has created a different type of short film animation with versions of infamous paintings such as The Last Supper, The Scream and Girl with a Pearl Earring. However, they become unrecognisable as he uses contemporary social contexts to explore the Seven Deadly Sins as if they were in the world today. Greed surmises that McDonalds litters the streets and food rotting all around a once beautiful – now desolate – landscape. Similarly, pride envisions machines tearing up the earth for selfish and financial gain. Food and humanity are left to rot, and the streets are violent and unforgiving as this animator provides an epiphany into the negative aspects of a world at the hands of human destruction. This short film asks the question: is this what these beautiful pieces of art look at us and see?
We are forced to confront these images through the eyes of a young child, as she perhaps sees what her future is to become. Like many of his films, Jegatheva has developed an educational context for his audience with vibrant animation and an interesting vision into what our world could become if we keep seeking to destroy it. Painting by Numbers is a clear presentation of the faults of the human condition and the form of an animated short film is an eerie way to portray it.
Jegatheva’s films have been selected to 28 Academy Award Qualifying Festivals, including Sundance. It is exciting to anticipate where his future filmmaking takes him.