Sree Raj S. with his portrait of Chaplin | Photo Credit: Special arrangement
What have matches to do with Charlie Chaplin? A lot; literally.
A 34-year-old self-taught artist has created a ‘portrait’ of the iconic English actor and filmmaker using more than 3.5 lakh matches.
It took Sree Raj S., a Malayali artist hailing from Manjalumoodu — a Tamil Nadu village close to the Kerala border, four painstaking months to complete the ‘matchstick mosaic.’
His remarkable effort has now brought him recognition from the Guinness World Records. His ‘portrait’ of Chaplin has been accepted as the “largest matchstick mosaic (image)” at 2.2 m² (24 ft²), according to the Guinness website.
In all, 3,57,216 matches were used to create the black-and-white likeness of the actor. The sticks have been fastened on to an 8 mm plywood board using glue. For the black colour, the sticks were pasted with the match head – the coated, lighting end – upright, and the stem end up for white.
“I bought the matches in bulk from a manufacturing unit in Kovilpatti (Tamil Nadu). Altogether, they weighed about 40 kg. It cost me about ₹6500. Transportation cost me another ₹800,’‘ said Mr. Sree Raj. So why Chaplin? ‘‘He’s famous, but he also came up from a life of hardship,” he said.
His work was publicly displayed at an event in Marthandam in August.
In 2013, he set a record with a 20 ft long, 25 ft wide, pencil drawing of former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in seven hours. He has also created a 30-foot image of Santa Claus with 1.5 lakh glass shards, which is another record in his name.
Mr. Sree Raj, who is employed as a professional artist, lives with his mother Susheela at Manjalumoodu.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2022 11:36:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/artist-win-accolades-for-matchstick-portrait-of-chaplin/article66065181.ece
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