Art News & Views

Partha Guin Reflects Upon the Simple Thought That Popular Medium Does Invoke a Lot


by Sarmistha Maiti

The influence of the European and the American art movements and practices on the Indian artists is not new. And the change that Indian art has witnessed since the last two decades is invariably the process of assimilation and appropriation of the western forms of art but of course contextualizing them in the most indigenous way. Pop Art among these art movements have been one of the most coveted choice of the Indian contemporary artists to associate and execute their thought processes in the globalized worldview led by tenets of the consumerist culture. The 30 year artist Partha Guin seems to be a serious exponent practicing this neo-art form in his unique ways which has traces of Pop Art relating it to his own time and space.

Though Pop Art had emerged in the form of a movement in the 1950s both in Europe and America to make a serious statement about the need to break the high and low culture and to revolt against the orthodox view of fine art represented by modernism and it drew its inspiration from sources in popular culture including pop music, movies, comics, kitsch and advertizing; now when a decade of the 21st century is gone, a similar practice like Pop art in our culture carries a new statement of wit, mockery and comment on the popular culture which is somehow governed by consumerism and mean materialistic crisis. Partha exactly taps on that node of human desire that wants to get 'more' and 'more' and 'more'… “Yeh dil mange more…” (Pepsi tagline a few years back).

“In my works, sometime, I repeat single object or image not for story telling purpose but also to decorate or create a visual structure. Sometime they are visual gags. Now-a-days, we feel very casual about so many things which are not at all casual. Because of this pop culture, we are growing very insensitive day-by-day and eventually we have started to ignore all the natural disasters and everything seems to be so casual for us. For me, art should be primarily about feelings and that the pictorial means should be meant to express them forcefully with a jerk. Practically there are so many things in our society that are very painful. I go panic at times on such issues. So many shocking incidents that just become casual anecdotes for media to increase their TRPs frame the major concern of my artworks,” Partha talks about his ideas and influences on his works.

Partha is a very sensitive artist and immensely particular about the choice of his subject material. Even if it a minute tiny piece of a glass bottle (the homeopathy medicine bottle), he knows it clearly why he is using that object and what purpose would it serve to. Partha believes in the language of protest but of course not the clichés of it. Communalism, corrupt political system, censorship, war, terrorism, violence, natural calamities, global warming, unsafe sex, and ignorance and illiteracy are the major barriers to the progress of any society. Partha raises his voice against those through his art medium. “Through my works, I want to convey the message that we don't need any updated arms, we just need updated thoughts.  Now-a- days we socialize through e-mails and sms, we chat through net. Basically we make friends to share our thoughts, news, views etc. Then why can't we use this thought towards the progress of our society? It's a question to everyone. I think, we can talk, consult about our problems to each other. May be it'll help us to solve the problems. For me, it'll be nice….. 'Let us have a cup of tea or coffee and share our problems' and I'm sure that a perfect solution will come soon. This is the way I try to reflect my opinion in one of my work,” Partha once again puts his way of thinking in his very own way.

Thus in a nutshell, Partha believes that the rebel and the change should be from within and the objects of the popular culture are to be adjudged critically even though their utilities cannot and should not be ignored or taken for granted. Only then a balance and harmony can be attained and a sensitive artist like him feels it to be the call of the day.

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