There is a splash of earthy colours on the walls of the Art Hub in Grubshup restaurant on Law College road. For an exhibition titled Buddha Smile,three artists have come together with art works which are multi-hued reflections on life,politics and natural beauty. Delhi-based Monet Saha,Joydeep Bhattacharjee from Agartala,and Aloke Dutta from Bengal may have different philosophies that they want to depict through their art,but the styles of all three are soaked in folk art. Saha works on terracotta plates and natural colours,Bhattacharjee amalgamates Kalighat pat,Madhubani and children’s art to come up with frames full of intricate lines and sketches; while Dutta’s canvases are simple wood cut prints that depict life in the village. My ‘Shora’ works are mostly replications of the Bengal school of art,and also the Hindu mythology, says Saha,the only one from the trio is in the city for the exhibition.
Saha’s canvases are concave terracotta plates,about the size of two palms,on which he paints with vegetable colours bound together with egg white. An alumnus of Delhi University (DU),he is also a sculptor,creating divine figurines and human forms on terracotta slabs. At DU,he was awarded a national,young artist scholarship. He later completed a degree in animation from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune,and is now also a film-maker.
Bhattacharjee is a product of Rabindra Bharati University,and was the recipient of a certificate from The Camlin Foundation,through which he traveled to France recently. He also won the Dhoomimal Art Center award,and the North East National Award. Dutta’s style on the other hand is muted. His works are simple frames of black and white lines,one showing a mother and a child,while another titled ‘Calf’ shows the animal in a rural pond. He comes from a small village in Bengal,and when he shifted to Kolkata,he used to miss gao ki khushbu all the time. So his works are mostly connected to farming and rural landscapes, says Saha.
But the most striking pieces at the exhibition are the Buddha portraits made by Bhattacharjee. They are multiple pieces of the same Buddha bust,some of them with words like corruption intertwined in the lines. One montage shows two Buddha faces,one red and one green. It shows parivartan. It is his way of saying that even though the colour of the government has changed,the reality remains the same, says Saha.
Buddha Smile will run at The Art Hub,Grubshup restaurant,Law college road,till May 20.