Thursday 19 December 2019

02 : Note from Studio Shantiniketan, Bolpur./ Artist : Ramu Das

The concept and the subjects of my works, with the treatment, talk all about the vocabulary of my works. While the basic concept is to depict the conflicting characters of human life, the subjects range from personal sexuality to a broader ground of socio-political problems. On one hand my works are imaginary, dramatic and distinctive; on the other hand they are strongly Surrealist in character and bear other specific art historical references. The basic concept of my works depends on my observation of the world, molded through my imagination. In other words, my works may be called solely individualistic. 
Artist : Ramu Das

Human figures in various actions and gestures are the main element in my paintings. Often, relating to the subject the figures are given very specific expressions. Also the figures are rendered to be very unattractive and grotesque in appearance. Most of the characters (both male and female) are imperfectly huge and muscular. They have thick lips, large puffy eyes and often bear peculiar expressions. I avoid the perfect rendering of the human bodies which automatically creates a distraction from a sexual provocation. I like to leave it to the beholders to think over it and feel the absence of the perfect beauty so that their urge for the perfect beauty move their minds. This is my intention to play with the beholders’ psychology. A supposed smooth and palpable skin of a nude woman is being replaced by a rough textured snake-like surface. All these somewhere disturbs the erotic fantasy and contradicts the viewers’ urge to see the perfect beauty. 

While growing as an artist, it is quite natural for the art works to go through an evolution in terms of both concept and content. There are lots of pictorial elements that have been added or deducted from my paintings in the course of changing time. Experiences of moving to different places have highly inspired me to shape up the body of my works. Nature and natural elements have been an integral part of my works throughout. Human figures, mostly grotesque and distorted, are placed within the natural space. Conch, cowry shells and recently beehives have become major symbolic features of my works. These are the elements that build up the body of my works and changes occur through the continous journey of my life. Apart from that there are many reflections of some of my very personal thoughts that come from my daily observations. I often come up with a scene, revealing some story about an individual or a group of people, stating them in an environment. I like to unveil the story quite dramatically with an expressive rendering of colour-play, finishing and appearances/expressions of the characters. Apart from that there are many reflections of some of my very personal thoughts that come from my daily observations. I often come up with a scene, revealing some story about an individual or a group of people, stating them in an environment. I like to unveil the story quite dramatically with an expressive rendering of colour-play, finishing and appearances/expressions of the characters.

My colour palette is quite strong. I use brilliant range of colours and juxtapose them to create vibrancy corresponding to the subjects of my paintings. I always want to create a certain contrast between contradictory elements and I do it by combining strong colours. My palette appears very strident and it may often resemble to be quite expressionistic yet the final rendering surely has reference of the Renaissance paintings. The smooth finishing, delicacy of the draperies, use of chiaroscuro and subtle highlights on the human figures are derived from by understanding of the classical painting, resulting as my own spontaneous interpretation.

I like to work in a way evaded from directness. There are more than a few layers in my works in terms of subject and concept. My main intention is to criticize and highlight various nuances of our society. I have extensively painted subjects like sexual biases, class struggle, and terrorism etc. I handle these concepts with a very political or sometime with a spiritual angle. I use various metaphors and symbols to convey my thought while articulation. The metaphors I use are created with my personal vision and interpretation from various experiences of life. Dealing with concepts like ‘Man and woman relationship’ I have used various metaphoric elements like snails, cowry shells and conch symbolizing the female sexuality and elements like tiger as male. There are references in my work criticizing the male dominance over females by showing a tiger, sharply gazing towards a woman. Tree has become a symbol of femininity as its process of creation resembles to the women’s’ power of giving birth.  Side pillow, another object of the interior has been shown repeatedly as a phallic symbol. There are a few subjects that I have dealt with a spiritual angle, using religious symbols (swastika symbol or a man seated like Buddha) against terrifying objects to generate good hope and positivity against fear. Apart from this, I have been capturing changing personality or mood of different people by showing characters with multiple heads. Dramatic combination of different expressions of joy and dismay of those multiple faces upon a single body, suggests the journey of that person throughout different phase of his life. My works are highly metaphoric and constantly connote a conflict between different aspects of human life. Contrasts and contradictions between different things like sexuality and gender biases, war and peace, brutalities of urbanization are symbolically depicted in my works.


Art Blogazine Team
Tathi Premchand

Wednesday 18 December 2019

01: Note from Studio Shantiniketan, Bolpur. / Artist : Ghanashyam Latua

Mainly my art practice is based on physical environment and its conflict with the artificial environment. The physical environment consists with the living and non-living components. Unfortunately, the natural environment has been under tremendous threat due to never ending human greed. The lands are mindlessly being excoriated by us through agonizing mechanical process. The poignant saga regarding the issues of land acquisition, environmental and migrant crisis and modern age slavery comes into my mind as myself being a locale from a suburban area.
Artist : Ghanashyam Latua

I am currently working with a long and time consuming method of creating layers like formation of a land for many years. It continues then by pecking and skinning the paper with a sharp tool, which defines the violence towards it due to human interference to acquire resources for industrial and ‘developmental’ purposes.

The skin of the paper is the metaphor of the land to me and the method of pecking represents the human rapacity in form of the encroaching land. Before pecking, I use to do some treatment on the paper. It might be an application of water colour tint, soft pastel, charcoal, pen strokes or might be left the paper un-treated as it is. 

I have been constantly encountering the changing features of these landscapes from my childhood at my ancestral village near Kharagpur, Jhargram and during my student life at Shantiniketan, Bolpur. I have explored the spiritual affinity and relationship between the man and nature through my works. It questions the burning social issues like encroaching and land grabbing, which changes the whole ecology of a landscape and the people depending upon it. The endless human greed has lead towards a socio-political disharmony due to misinterpretations of modernism.

In that sense my works are empathic reaction towards these issues as we are constantly being enslaved by our own greed and ecstasy of power in a capitalist society. By getting divorced from the nature day by day, we have murdered our own divine and spiritual self.



Art Blogazine Team
Tathi Premchand

Sunday 15 December 2019

Pin Poster : Kolkata Ink

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of India's West Bengal state. Founded as an East India Company trading post, it was India's capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. Today it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. It’s also home to Mother House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, whose tomb is on site.