A looking back, an early start up(17)

An old artwork

The death of a family, a suicide committed by the society

This painting was my most engaging acrylic work that I did in 1991 and I exhibited it in my first solo show at AFA, Kolkata in 1991. After the finishing of my diploma in visual art program in 1983-84, I was commonly influenced by the western modernist trends during the eighteenth to nineteenth century art practice by the modern masters in Europe and that influence guided me to generate few works that related to the different social happenings by the innocent country people of our homeland. Particularly this incidence, the death of a family was one of the most important news to me in the days of late eighty’s.

One fine morning when I was reading a Kolkata based popular Bengali news paper, it reported in few lines that a factory labour family had committed a suicide being electrified with the wrapping wires which was directly connected to the switched on electric plug point and probably this incidence happened because of a mental depression that related to the common industrial problems such as lock out, closure or strike. After reading this shocking news I became perplexed for few seconds and I thought it that the members of an ordinary labour family who were fallen in a crisis, feeling unhappiness during a long period, had lost their hope to survive for the days in future. Also I astonished because a labour family members had decided to commit a suicide while the local government upholding to the socialistic ideas based on a doctrine on class less society that was guided by the left front oriented people’s political parties, the leadership of the trade union movements, at the same time the society’s attitude to indifference, the so-called progressive men and women’s attitude based on humanitarian ground could not protect the family members from this kind of pathetic incidence. That intolerable true and tormented situation made me conscious to realize the fact what was focussed to me as an hypocrisy of the surroundings! I could also feel a responsibility too that should be committed by me and  I decided at once to go through my creative process for painting on canvas all along on this current issue if that would not be helpful to make this contextual narrative condition other than otherwise I had no option to generate this painting. The tendency of formal expressions on agony of death and the visual composition, sign and symbols of electrification and conductivity explored the narrative style, the narratives was the main implemented source of visual language.

Art critic wrote in review “The most engaging exhibit of the show, The Death of a Family, is handled with free use of space and no tense tones or bristly texture in colours while the central focus of the image is the figures writhing in death pain, the formal and compositional management takes care to render every part of the picture meaningfully vivid and achieves a satisfying pictorial unity.”–Manasij Majumder, The Telegraph (published from Kolkata).

One of my senior friend, philosopher and guide Babuda (Debiprasad Basu, by profession he is a writer), liked this painting very much and he said several times, ” …this painting becomes reference in context to the suicide,  if I get any chance I must mention it as reference in my critical analysis in future .”

Nilotpal Sinha    The death of a family    Acrylic on canvas     60" x 72" (app.)    1991

Nilotpal Sinha     The death of a family    Acrylic on canvas     60″ x 72″ (app.)    1991


About নীলসীন neelseen

নীলোৎপল সিংহ ( জন্ম.১৯৬০ ) কলকাতায় (ক্যালকাটা, ভারত ) বসবাস করেন। একজন কলকাতাবাসী শিল্পী হিসাবে তিনি দীর্ঘ ত্রিশবছর ব্যাপী চিত্রকলা ও নিউ মিডিয়া প্রকল্প চর্চার সঙ্গে যুক্ত আছেন। Nilotpal Sinha ( b.1960 ) lives in Kolkata (Calcutta, India ), Being a Kolkata based artist he is engaged in painting and new media projects during last thirty years.
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2 Responses to A looking back, an early start up(17)

  1. uthamz says:

    The figures come out of the painting and touch the viewers deep within – stiring them and disturbing them. Nice post , Nilotpal !


    • neelseen says:

      Thank you so much, Utham. Generally peoples are not ready to say anything about the death of a family but it has a significance to me from the sociological aspect; few of them are interested as like as you. their comments inspire me.

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