The dancing figures in darkness
I did these two acrylic paintings in 1991 that displayed in my first solo exhibition at Academy Of Fine Arts, Kolkata in the same year. The ‘Man and Woman with Candle-1’ was much appreciated by the critic in paper review and the viewers appreciated the other one. Already I have posted a black and white drawing yesterday which is a layout of this painting (Man and Woman with Candle-2).
When the art critic asked me about the painting I told him that I saw these slum area people in a dancing mood on the footpath in a mid night darkness at Kolkata on any religious occasion (those days we were in a trouble because of regular power cut in our city life); obviously they were following drum beats of a terrific rhythmic popular film song (here it is called ‘filmi-gana’), where few lighted candles placed around them and the reflected light had created so many beautiful moving shadows or imageries on the wall behind the dancers. The movements of those imageries and the candles were the most significant objects at that time that I felt when I tried to draw on canvas.
Today in Kolkata sometimes we see a candle light procession by the citizens to protest against a political or apolitical specifically which is said as social anarchy, violence and torture that have been related to the past that I experienced in similar manner though the purpose and the function were different.
In my painting it was a peculiar modernist approach in the year 1991 but that happened because of an extreme influence by Picasso and M.F. Hussain both. In those days I was searching several type of formal practice in visual language that would be compatible with a linear quality, a flatness or a simplified form of expression and I found it in their works as a source of inspiration or reference. Some of questions raised by the viewers who asked me that why did you achieve the form that inherited from the crude modernist practice such as Cubism or Expressionism, rather than the searching in your own soil for the localized content? Then it was a difficult question to me to give answers but I could feel that they wanted to mean the so-called illusionistic academic realism that I rejected violently at the end of my study and I felt it that the way they proposed was a backwardness that tried to pull down from the contemporary practice for the new art language and today I am sure that the decision that I took was correct. This is an endless journey during the life and the changes that are always welcome with the everlasting transgression of life untill otherwise the physical death will come.