Art News & Views



Random Strokes

by Rumi Banerjee

A Walk by Night

Bruising the void episode of time...

A sinister man emerges out of the darkness...withdrawn...panicking...clawing at his own body...blurry figures waver in the background. He covers both the ears with his hands, trying to escape the fragments of sounds and images that no longer belong to him. He tries to hide...ignore and run, he wants to scream... but nothing comes out. She blends a painful yellow with a sinister darkness and beautifully blends art and philosophy. She brings her anonymous characters to life and makes them increasingly disturbed over their own loneliness and alienation. As if, they remain a complete outsider to every drama of life failing to make emotional contact with anyone, unable to sleep for years. Sometimes a figure seems engulfed in darkness, as though dark waters of the night has enveloped it. Her works make us wonder as if we walk in close companionship with the images and try to defy the dark with cheerful argument; our voices sound strange to each other...a silence that fell too frequently...which we dare not ignore. We walk alone...conscious of the pressure of the dark all around, conscious, too, that by degrees resistance to it grew less and less.

Priyanka Lahiri, born in 1980 in Howrah, West Bengal, is known for her contemporary works with a universal theme. She has done masters from the Government College of Art and Craft and participated in shows like Golden Brush 2008 organized by the Eye Within, Art Against Terrorism at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata (2009); Gen Next III at Aakriti Art Gallery (2009); an exhibition of contemporary art organized by SAARC Women Organization in Dhaka (2009); Continuity presented by Verandah Art , at Birla Academy of Art and Culture and other shows, scholarships and awards from the Government Art College, Kolkata to her credit.

Spooky Psycho Babble

There is one that has a head without an eye,                    
And there's one that has an eye without a head.                                 
You may find the answer if you try;                                                         
And when all is said,                                                                                   

Half the answer hangs upon a thread.         
(-Christina Rossetti)

Seeing his works is fun. He toys with dream- reality. His Childhood, Play with Fish looks like a collage of memories not clearly seen...half-spoken and half-felt. Often, he delivers a hectic climax to his viewers. Like a mind of a a sound in the seashell that carries a thousand secrets...he embossed his unfathomable thoughts, dreams and memories on red-burnt terracotta. Like a bubble with a rainbow that touches our nose or cheek his works generate a feeling of fun and frolic, a feeling of simple and joyful moments of life that pave the memory lane and probably blur as time erodes our memories like a sand dune in storm. His sculptures possess the same quality of fun and frolic with only a pinch of a spooky atmosphere. His Proximity, Untitled looks similar to that of Coraline and her friend and neighbour Wybie Lovat (from the animation movie Coraline), and the talking cat of 'the other world' and the eccentric Russian acrobat Mr. Bobinsky (from Coraline again) who must have influenced his Childhood but then... thanks to my wonderfully strange imagination.

Subrata Biswas is a postgraduate in sculpture from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He exhibited his works at Aakriti Art Gallery, Birla Academy of Art and Culture and many other galleries. Many private collectors own his works and he has won West Bengal State Academy Award 2002 and Lalit Kala Academy Award, 2002.

Intoxicated By the Romance of the Unusual

I followed the scent of a spiralling infinity never reaching its end...

His textures, colours, lines come together and create themselves involving a mute psychodrama. His story is that of an average human being with an excessive simplicity of mind. There is a concept of human situation rather than human nature. He renders amazing textures to his themes. There are doorways and flights of stairs in most of his works, which we very often see in dreams. His stairs seem to lead to nowhere ...a perpetual journey towards the infinite and the unfulfilled. The three dark figures in his Unspoken Dialogues perhaps speak more with their gestures. The Other Light is again a little uncanny. A mysterious light from some unknown source is opening up new possibilities and perhaps new realities in the midst of a frozen time. His Houseboat bears a pure infant instinct. The crystal aqua blue textured water beneath radiates a cold shivery feeling. The house on the boat is a safe and secured place on earth like a human mind that flows along with tide with its memories, experiences and realizations stored in its archive, which through time is metamorphosed as an adult mind while retaining those infantile qualities within.

Through his themes, he produces scales of layered violins and plaintive piano that carries the story forward on a river of sound, punctuated by contrasting tense moments of silence when the mute dialogue invites our attention with acute tensions of non-verbal communication. There is music in all his works...a music that demands to be listened to. It does not sentimentalize or tell us when and how to feel. The haunting sound mesmerizes us. There is a poetic element... some serene moments of calm, leading to introspection turns to turbulent unfulfilled longing as the mute music surges forward.

Ritendra Roy (born 11th March, 1972, U.S.A) received his Bachelor's from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 1997, and Master's from Visva Bharati, Santiniketan in 1999. His works are now in various collections and continue to evoke much interest among art lovers. His works have been displayed in exhibitions, curated shows and other group shows at major centres all over India and abroad. He lives and works in Kolkata.

The Players Change but the Game Remains the Same

Hidden encounters with the ultimate and inexplicable...

Sagar Bhowmik creates an atmosphere, and his attitude is kind of a 'no attachment'. Like a devoted essayist, he pays attention to each detail. His sunlight is coated in melancholy. His carefully chosen delicate yet strong colours with limited and sombre light and shade produce a sense of 'standing on the surface of an empty mind'. Like the mist of perfume, his colours deliver a sense of infinite loneliness...not sadness, but somehow a kind of realization, a sense of...'beyond'. He is complete within himself. He is not lonely but he is a loner. One can feel the silence and infinity in almost all his works. His characters assemble themselves automatically to create that atmosphere...which is not meditative but of some kind of a deep realization of human soul and its physical existence. He tells the story of the moment...there are no political or social or religious messages...there are no predictions...but simply the realization of the moment. He contemplates, he introspects, and sometimes he is dazed and transfixed by what he unfolds. There are no characters in his Wait series. Nevertheless, a viewer can easily understand the environment and that of the unseen character who was there and who perhaps left the place a moment ago. The astray with crumbled cigarettes, a ball pen, and a half revealed crossword puzzle of a folded morning newspaper and a few comic strips....give us a clue of the character who left probably on errand. Our artist is a stranger to himself...nothing seems to satisfy him enough to quench his thirst, thirst for the infinite...the unknown...the undiscovered...the unseen.

Born in 1971 in Kolkata, West Bengal, Sagar has participated in exhibitions like Expressions, a group show organized by Gallery Espace, New Delhi, 2005, Art Waves, exhibition of Indian Contemporary Art at Artrium Mica building, Singapore 2005, GenNext IV at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, 2009, No Content Worries and Image and Symbol: Painter's Perception at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, 2010, Social and Political Injustice, Kolkata, Aakriti Art Gallery, 2011 among various other shows.

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