Friday Review » Art

Updated: January 2, 2010 18:49 IST

A date with calendar

Shalini Shah
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STROKE PLAY Paintings of Indian performing arts now get translated onto a calendar
STROKE PLAY Paintings of Indian performing arts now get translated onto a calendar

Niladri Paul's paintings ride on a more down-to-earth medium now

It is that time of the year when calendars rule the walls. Some mundane, some interesting, and a few worth preserving even after December 31. Niladri Paul's paintings, mostly of classical dancers and those representing various other Indian performing arts, now strike a pose with dates. In a calendar brought out by Rave India, the artist brings out his ‘Navarasa' collection of paintings in a more common and utilitarian form.

“Since the past five to six years I've been researching motion, the anatomy, rhythm and language. That led to the ‘Navarasa' collection (based on the nine rasas of shringar, karuna, veera, bibhatsya, bhaya, rudra, hasya, shantam and adbhuta).Most of the figures are Indian. I've chosen figures from forms that are aesthetically beautiful, like Kathak, Odissi and Bharatanatyam. Then there are some fusion art forms,” says the painter.

On the calendar that took 15-20 days to design, he says, “The people from Rave India told me they wanted to be associated with my paintings. We were thinking about the form in which we could reach people and then decided, ‘let's make a calendar out of this'. People are not willing to put up a calendar on their walls anymore.”

A former alumnus of the Government College of Arts, Kolkata, Paul then dabbled into advertising, working as an art director with Ogilvy & Mather, where he worked on audio-visuals and marketing campaigns. “I then started devoting half-a-day to painting, which soon became full-time,” recalls the painter, who's been into art for almost two decades now.

Bold strokes

Recalling his early days, the Delhi-based artist says, “I started painting horses and landscapes, mostly things I learnt in college. I soon wanted to carve my own identity and started working on the strongest part of my painting – drawing and application of bold strokes and colours. These are aspects people identify me with.”

He adds, “Another strong characteristic of my paintings is that I use a lot of white.”

Paul's paintings have the appearance of abstract brush strokes that form one figurative whole. “As a painter I have been very keen on depicting movement. I want to research more on bhava (expression). It can be either figurative or non-figurative,” he elaborates.

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