Jagath Ravindra was born in the Madampe, Puttalam district. He completed his BFA from the institute of Aesthtic Studies, University of kelaniya Sri Lanka. He is today, one of Sri Lanka’s leading artists. Jagath’s manner is unassuming, yet he knows what’s important to him. His art, to him is passion and very personal.
“If somebody who looks at my paintings, smiles at something that made me smile, and cries at something that made me cry, then I have achieved something” Jagath States
Jagath Weerasinghe is one of the key players in the Sri Lankan contemporary art scene who is accredited for his influence on what is today known at the 90s movement, a monumental time in the history of Sri Lankan art where the subject of politics and sexuality came to the forefront of artistic expression. As a co-founder of the Theertha Collective and the moving force behind collaborations such as the Colombo Art Biennale, Weerasinghe has lectured on the local contemporary art scene internationally alongside his work as the Head of the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology. The combination of his work as an artist and archaeologist is present more recently in his work on paper. While renowned for his dominantly black canvases that express the artists strong political view that are the result of the artists first hand experiences with the uprising of the war in the eighties, the artist more recently began work on a series of drawings and poetry, exposing a more intimate and romantic side to his arguably extremist nature.
The faceless man first appeared in I have enough Guilt to start my own Religion first appeared in Weerasinghe's work in the early nineties in response to the artist's struggle as a Sinhala Buddhist living in a country that was at war with the minority Tamils. Taken from the song by Tori Amos, the faceless man portrayed the artist's inner turmoil and the guilt of an entire generation coming to terms with rising racial tensions. Towards the end of the war Weerasinghe presented the series Who are you Soldier?, a faceless soldier questioning the effect of the war on citizens of the country and the home environment. Golden Violence was created the year the 30-year civil war ended. It is a precursor for what later became a series of work with a similar aesthetic that questioned the beautification of the country post-war and prior to this the way the same government glorified the brutal end to the war.
Weerasinghe studied for his Masters in Fine Arts at the American University in Washington D.C. He has exhibited his work at the Saskia Fernando Gallery Colombo, the National Art Gallery Colombo and in group shows at India Art Fair, Breese Little London, Asia House London, Colombo Art Biennale, Museum of Ethnology Vienna, Asia Pacific Triennial Queensland, and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.