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Vagaries of expression

He is suffering from a kidney ailment but that does not stop Paritosh Pal from pursuing art

THE PRAKRIT Arts Gallery has on display works of an artist who suddenly finds himself in Chennai far from his place of birth in West Bengal due to quirk of fate. Young and raring to go in life after completing his diploma in fine arts, Paritosh Pal was suffering from a kidney ailment. He required immediate replacement of his organs. Mukti Foundation, founded by Meena Dadha in 1886 to help physically and mentally challenged, came to his aid, and the cause was recommended by artist Dakshinamurthy. The operation was performed successfully two years ago. Unfortunately, the artist is unable to go back to his job as an art teacher in the Army School because of constant medical attention that he requires. Consequently, he is absorbed at the Ananya Gallery in Pondicherry. He works there and simultaneously continues to create works that enable him to meet his treatment cost that runs to Rs. 10,000 per month.

An artist's angst

Paritosh's works on display consist of paintings, drawings and sculptures. There is not much in terms of originality and creative punch. Nevertheless skill comes to his rescue, for, the drawings, especially of Ganeshas, are rendered with controlled strokes creating a chiaroscuro effect that brings the rotundity of the street god alive. These representations are like calendar pictures ideally suited to adorn puja rooms. But moving beyond the corporeal representation of Ganeshas, it is easy to read the artist's despair, angst and stress through these forms almost praying with intensity to overcome his physical ailment and bring him back to the mainstream of life.

His paintings seem to be inspired by many modern Indian masters. The colours are bold and vibrant, marking their significant presence. All the works are figurative and the one that captures attention is that of a buffalo full of zest as it playfully charges. It is rendered in bright contrasts of red and black. Perhaps paintings of this nature reflect the optimism of the artist who after going through a bad patch is now veering to take life by its horns.

The sculptures made of wire are impressive. Paritosh has created a varied iconography, from Krishna playing the flute to dancing Ganesha. Each sculptural work is decoratively adorned with flowers and leaves.

Paritosh's works are moderately priced and are unframed due to financial constraints. The price of the paintings ranges from Rs.1,500 to Rs. 6,000. The sculptures are priced between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 2,500.

The artist through this exhibition is looking forward to raise funds for his medical expenses.

The show is on till March 30, after which the artist can be reached at the Prakrit Arts Gallery, which is located at 27B, First Cross Street, R. A. Puram, Ph: 52082078.


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