Hailing from the state of West Bengal, Dharamanarayan Dasgupta studied at Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan. During the course of his search for a form that would adequately express his sentiments, he flirted with art styles that flourished as offshoots of traditional Indian art, mingled with Western ideals that were the trademark of the 19th century. His paintings also contained remnants of the ‘babu’ culture, a legacy from British India. Soon he cleverly blended all these cultures with his own inimitable style, and succeeded in achieving a distinctive look in his paintings.
Bizarre images crowd his canvasses and form an integral part of his art: images that float in the air, survey the world with their legs pointing skyward, distorted beyond recognition. He explains, “If some of the figures in my paintings are seen suspended in the air and others, upside down, it is so because I am trying to present the predicament of a middle-class man, who does not have a secure foot-hold in our society, who has to make compromises, face disappointments and whose dreams and aspirations are invariably turned down.”
Dasgupta’s canvases mirror society’s disparities and the injustices and the cruelties that exist within it. “For the ordinary man, life is fraught with peril, and it is this predicament of the bourgeois that attracts me and prompts me to pick up my brush to bring them to the surface.”
Dharmanarayan Dasgupta lived and worked in Kolkata till he passed away in 1997.
Artist: DHARMANARAYAN DASGUPTA
Size: 13_ X 13.5_ Drawing