The subjects of Unnikrishnan’s paintings are taken from a myriad of sources, both real and imaginary. These include elements from his childhood in rural Kerala as well as a student and working life entrenched in the charged atmosphere of large Indian cities.There are often filmic references in the works that trace their lineage through ‘film noir’ and express themselves in landscapes expressive of the urban underbelly.
In many of the works the subject matter is concerned with the dynamic relationship between the individual and community. Whilst in some of the works the individual is placed within landscapes, in others the landscapes (with their communities of unlikely actors) themselves reside within the body of the individual. These surreal inversions of reality take the viewer to the interior world of the subject and, by default, the artist.