Mandayam Osuri Thirunarayanan (Dr. Thiru)

Mandayam Osuri Thirunarayanan (Dr. Thiru) is a photography enthusiast whose quest to find symbols that resembled (the Hindu symbol for “OM”) resulted in the development of “Art That People Step On” which is a collection of photos of images that are hard to understand, or works of “Unintelligiblistic Art”.

The more he walks on paved, semi-paved and even unpaved surfaces, the more art-like patterns he finds, and his collection continues to grow. Most of the images he has photographed are in or around Miami, Florida, but he has also found and photographed a few images in other parts of the US.

One of his goals is to invite photographers from around the world to look for and photograph patterns of art in areas that people avoid or walk over or step on, and share their photos with others via my website. Also sharing some information about the locations where the photographs were taken, and the people who live there, could lead to understanding various cultures.

Dr. Thiru would also like to use the images from his collection to promote skills such as observing, focusing, questioning, visualizing, comparing imagining, and creating. Use of the photographs from his collection can help facilitate the development of such skills among school-aged youngsters as well as adults.

As an artist, Dr. Thiru would like to share his work with virtual as well as traditional museum audiences in different parts of the world.

Artist’s Statement

The artist Dr. Thiru has developed a collection of photos of what he calls “Art That People Step On.” Because many of the photos contain images that are hard to understand, he calls images works of “Unitelligiblistic Art.”  Like most people, the artist has walked at least a few thousand miles until this point in time in his life. Also like most people, he did not pay much attention to patterns of art that he used to step on or walk over.

Dr. Thiru initially started looking for patterns in nature and on paved surfaces, walls, and in other manmade objects that looked like the symbol or “OM”, which is a symbol that has religious and spiritual significance for Hindus. Initially he only found two patterns that looked somewhat like but he eventually found one that looks almost like and a picture of this image is included in one of the galleries in his website.

The quest for the OM symbol resulted in the development of the “Art That People Step On” collection of photos of “Unitelligiblistic Art”.

At the end of the year 2016, Dr. Thiru started noticing other patterns in spills, leaks, stains, smudges, splatter, spit and weathered, eroded and repaired portions of sidewalks and other paved and semi-paved areas that people generally step on without paying much attention. To his curious mind and eyes, some of the patterns looked like works of art. Soon he started noticing more and more ‘works of art’ as he walked on paved, semi-paved and unpaved surfaces. Using the camera in his smart phone, he started taking pictures of the artistic patterns that he observed in such areas.

Some of the skills that Dr. Thiru has used to identify patterns of art in what appears to be dirty looking areas include focused observation, identifying patterns, making connections, rotational visualization, asking questions, curiosity, creativity, and imagination.

Viewers’ interpretations of what the pictures are and the artist’s interpretations may be quite different, and this is perfectly okay. Everyone perceives things differently, based on their prior knowledge, experiences and cultural perspectives.

If the pictures provoke some conversations among strangers, acquaintances, friends and family members who view them, that will make Dr. Thiru happy.