About ArtistHailing from the land of tales and mythology, Thanjavur, the artist chose to deviate from the traditional, though it was the very base for his paintings. Muralidharan graduated in 1978, Madras College of Arts & Crafts with Diploma in Painting. In 1986 he was selected to exhibit his works in Sweden and was a guest artist at Stockholm College then he went to Mackintosh School of Arts, Scotland on a fellowship. Muralidharan has also been granted the National Cultural Scholarship from the Government of India and the Lalit Kala Akademi Research Grant. He was awarded the Charles Wallace Scholarship by the British Council in 1993.His works are in the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, the Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, and several private collections. For Muralidharan, a collection of MF Husain's series based on the epic Mahabharatha is very special. "He was very successful in bringing the essence of the great epic with his art skills," he says. An artist for over three decades now, Muralidharan's favourite artist is Leonardo Da Vinci. "He is a master of all kinds of creativity. He was an inventor, scientist, craftsman, but above all, he was a great artist. Although his 'Mona Lisa' was considered a masterpiece, to me his 'Last Supper is the best'." Like many artists, Muralidharan is connected to his emotions. Having lost his son to cancer, he was unable to create art. He couldn't work for two years, after which loneliness and ebony were the common factors in his painting. His recent works are an effort to blend international approach with traditional themes. "I don't work in a traditional manner. The colours I use are not the mainstream but from pop era," he says. He was inspired to take a different look at Indian mythologies by different representations of Jesus. "In one of the paintings, I've portrayed lord Krishna playing the flute while the background is filled with elements from Vrindavan. I have used unconventional colours and style in it because I wanted to show mythology from a different angel," he points out. His new paintings are a part of his collection, Mystic Valley, which has been expanding over the year. "My interest in Indian mythologies is endless. It's like a sea of inspiration, stories and art that I want to explore more and more."