Artist Sukanta Dasgupta shares his fascination for
‘Papier Colles’,a technique of using paper collages
A picture of Medusa,a gorgon from Greek mythology,created out of bits and pieces of scissor-cut paper. On the other hand providing a complete contrast to her blue skinned face is a painting of Damayanti,a character from the Mahabharata,which is more serene in its appearance. The paintings created by artist Sukanta Dasgupta are as diverse as the theme itself. Fascinated with paintings and paper collages since his school days,Dasgupta has combined the same to create paintings called papier colles.
’Papiers’ means paper and ‘Colles’ means to paste,in French. My art is not just painting,and neither is it just a collage. Papier Colles is only one of the various types of collage-making that involves both the art forms, he says. ‘Hues of Feminity’,the exhibition showcasing his works will be held at the Darpan Art Gallery,from September 26 to October 2.
Dasgupta,an ex-defence official,quit his service,to indulge in his passion for this art,in 2005. Presently,he is a professor at theTolani Maritime Institute,Talegaon. Incidentally,Dasgupta says that even after having travelled through the length and breath of the country he has not been able to meet artists who share his interest for papiers colles. I have been looking for artists in India to share my work and connect with but haven’t found anyone, says Dasgupta.
Explaining the concept he says that the process of papiers colles starts with a thought of an image which is materialised into a sketch by the artist. Once the sketch is perfected,the artist collects bits and pieces of paper and glues them onto the sketch,just like a painter adds paint to a sketch.
The most difficult part of the trick,says Dasgupta,is that the artiste needs to be clear about the colour combination and paste the pieces of paper accordingly. I have to decide the shape of the cuts,if I want a sharp look,like in the Medusa painting,I cut the pieces of paper with scissors. But if I want a softer look,like the Damyanti picture,I would tear the pieces of paper with my hands, he says.
Even the texture,he says,plays a major role. If one wants to give a brighter look,a glossy paper from a magazine or newspaper supplement is a good option. The direction in which papers are to be pasted is equally important, he adds.