Sunday, April 11

Pandemic turns muse for visual artists

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Ever since the lockdown began, Kolkata-based celebrated visual artist Sanatan Dinda has painted several series representing the current situation. Talking about the prominent use of masks in his paintings, he says, ‘Besides becoming a necessity, masks are now a symbol of our fight against the pandemic. The masked human beings in my paintings represent the current time, when even a known person appears to be unfamiliar. They all share a sense of fear, uncertainty and restlessness. The idea of social distancing is far more complex than what it seems and that’s what I am trying to convey through my artwork’

In this elaborate painting, Dhwangsher Mukhomukhi Armra (Meeting Apocalypse), two masked faces are looking at each other. ‘The white space between these two people represents the mental distance that has been created due to social distancing,’ says the artist.

In this set developed in dry pastel and charcoal on paper, Dinda has painted masked faces with a suspicious and uncertain gaze. Following a famous line by poet Jibanananda Das, he named the series, Shokolei Archokhe Sakalke Dekhe (The Suspicious Gaze).

In Keep Your Mouth Shut, Dinda has drawn masked faces in charcoal on paper.

Artist Samir Aich uses a lot of dark shades, including black, grey and yellow ochre. World 2020 — his latest mixed media artwork on canvas shows a deadly unknown animal attacking people. A slice of the moon is distinct on the canvas. ‘The moon represents Mother Nature, who is overseeing the carnage. This is not a happy painting. We cannot always paint gulmohar in spring. I have tried to capture the ongoing stream of fear that is represented by the animal,’ he says

Shuvaprasanna has painted an intimidating fish with blood smeared on its mouth in charcoal and acrylic on paper. ‘The fish symbolises our fear. It also shows the ferocity of the virus. It took me a while to settle down after the initial trauma. Now I am back to my work. I have sketched a few and will start a big project soon. Before that, I am expressing my feelings through smaller paintings,’ says the artist


Source: Times of India


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