Art News & Views



Random Strokes

by Rumi Banerjee

Embattled Existence

They say you look other than you say, as if you didn't know who you were....

He renders an inhuman and a kind of cruel treatment to his figures. Bleeding, agonized and tormented souls hover all around his canvas seeking salvation. When I stood in front of his works, each time I heard a silent scream from within and felt a little suffocating tension take over me. Uneasiness hovered about in the inner space in his paintings. A heavy claustrophobic atmosphere complements his works. That building sense of dread is probably the hardest thing to capture in a canvas, which our artist does beautifully. He added all that necessary amount of colours, lines and curvatures to create that desired tension among viewers. He creates nightmares that arouse fear. Our sleep is often disturbed by internal stimuli. Unfulfilled desires and wishes, unresolved conflicts give rise to inner tensions which could trouble our sleep. In sleep, our relation to reality is temporarily suspended and repressed desires seek expression through dreams or nightmares. His works exist in profound correspondence with the psychic formation of his subjectivity as an artist. The artist desires to instil in the viewers a tragic effect that would leave a trail in the viewers mind like footprints on sand.

Artist Amitava Dhar was born in 1957 at Kidderpore, Kolkata. He graduated first class first from Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata. He had solo, duet and three person's show in major cities in India from 1984. He has participated in India Annual Shows in metros of India and Tokyo, Calcutta Metropolitan Festival of Art in 1995, Bhopal Biennale in 1996 and other major art galleries in India and abroad including Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata; The Gallery in Cork Station, London; Tamarind Art Gallery, New York; and others.


Through painful and prolonged self-discovery...

Have you ever thought how it would feel to be inside someone else's dream? That could be the definition of the experience of art. Like summer, winter, spring, autumn and fall on earth, we have all seasons inside us each season we feel and react exactly the way nature reacts. Works of Sunil De made me go through a trance....a certain numbness blended with a poignant feeling of being lost and detached. In almost all his artworks I felt that season...sometimes winter, sometimes spring....sometimes helplessness, hatred and disappointments. It's like his carves and fissures speak. His forms, images, and colours slowly come together to draw that mindscape with all its trivial pains and pleasures.

Born in 1948, Howrah, West Bengal, Sunil De graduated from the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata in 1975. He has had several one- man shows and group shows in various metropolitan cities since 1976, including Singapore Art Festival in 2006 and A Fleeting World in 2011 at Aakriti Gallery, Kolkata among others. He had participated in Banga Sanskriti Sammelan, Calcutta Metropolitan Festival of Art, 1995 and Millenium Festival of Art in 2000 are some of the prestigious ones in his career.

Cirque du Freak

Influence is great and this you can see,                                                    
Just look at my fall and you will have to agree                                             
It won't take too long my Demons, to tell,                                           
That the vision of Satan will populate hell...
(– Anonymous)

Imagine...a neon blue spotlight flicks from above. Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Cirque du freak! We are an ancient Circus...we have toured for five hundred years... bringing the spectacular and grotesque to generations.  Our freaks are not people in masks, neither they are harmless misfits...what you see tonight is real. Each performer is unique. None harmless. To prove this we have our wolfman who will be clawing at Mr. Tall. Disgusting but a great fun at the same time. A freak show? Ever been to one? Perhaps one is a sword swallower and the other a jack-knife or a glass eater...may be a human skeleton or a frog boy...a neon green curtain with black leopard spots as a background...we  shall even make you visualise a half-animal and a half human wearing toe opened long black boots sewn to skin. A ripple of worry runs through the crowd, the audience we shall give you human oddities and other living curiosities. Have you ever been to the other side of the lake where the hell boys make their tents and their women gaze at you with dark panda eyes and their gothic beauties gave you goose bumps? Have you ever breathed the sinful air? No... it's not about that Twixt movie... rather it's a mash up of visions, a strong blend of sarcastic humour and bitter satire with a tinge of global culture, bold colour palette, extreme collage of thoughts sometimes blended with a political undertone. Our artist boldly presents a ridiculed human existence or a raw drama of human life. You see them being staged right in front of your eyes each time you see his artworks. There is so much happening in each of his artworks.

Mithun Dasgupta, born in 1980 in Kolkata, completed MVA from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He was awarded the 'Art for Excellence' award by Nirman in 2008. Apart from taking part in various group and solo shows, he was also selected in the Gen Next II hosted by Aakriti Art Gallery during the year 2007.

Theatre Bizarre

Of similarities, interconnections and differences...

He brings out the lost flavour of nineteenth century Calcutta. Like a storyteller, he narrates stories blended with soft humour, fun an frolic, layered dialogues, and decorates with motifs from the irreplaceable, inimitable storybook, Thakurmaar Jhuli by Dhakshinaranjan Mitramazumdar.

Rajesh Deb creates a drama using his canvas as a stage. His works are connected to the monotonous reality of human life, only he sprinkles some silver dust of magic when he weaves them with a 'rupkotha' like attitude. His bold lines are emphatic and convincing. With the imagination of a child, he weaves dreams. His motifs add the flavour of fantasy to the regular panoramic story he narrates. His narrative start with equilibrium goes through a phase of disequilibrium to an end point where equilibrium is again restored.

He achieved his M.V.A from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Awarded several times as a print-maker he displayed his works in Academy of Fine Arts, CIMA Workshop Exhibition, National Exhibition in Mumbai, Rethinking Mumbai in 2005, Outsider in 2005, Gen-Next at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata in 2007 and more.

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