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ANIMAL IMPRINTS One of Prasanjit Sengupta's works.
ANIMAL IMPRINTS One of Prasanjit Sengupta's works.

RANA SIDDIQUI

Kolkata-based Prasanjit Sengupta's just-concluded exhibition on men was spectacular.

Earlier, female forms were used in paintings to symbolise almost everything that femininity stands for - grace, elegance, power, beauty, and more. For some time, says Kolkata-based artist Prasanjit Sengupta, female forms were being used to titillate, which, he feels, makes the work lighter in content and frivolous in approach. Works based on the ad world, and advertisements per se, have contributed to the dumbing down of women in paintings also. Since Sengupta didn't want to associate himself with such frivolity, he says he took recourse to male forms, in an extremely graceful way. A proof of this recently came to view at an exhibition of his works in acrylic and pencil on canvas. Named Pensive Contours, the exhibition was brought to Visual Arts Gallery in New Delhi by Sanskriti Art Gallery of Kolkata

Stylish

His male figures, taken from the world of glamour and from the street, have one trait in common - they brood and meditate. They protest, silently though. His men from the world of fashion are well built. They sport tattoos depicting animal skin as that of a leopard. They walk with lots of oomph and stand in style. But all the time, they seem to be in constant mental struggle. His common man wears simple clothes. He stands in sharp contrast to the men of the glam world. He too is pensive and inarticulate. To find peace of mind, he meditates sitting against a tattered wooden wall. Says Sengupta, "My glam men are not a subject of provocation. They also combine elements of fun, with some men having animal traits. They react to their circumstances but never get violent."Sengupta is known for nostalgically recollecting the good old days and comparing them with today's high-tech world. One of his works depicting an old, tattered letterbox kept in juxtaposition to a laptop signifying communication through e-mail, bears testimony to this.

No nature depiction

Though not exactly unhappy with today's world, this 40-year-old alumnus of Rabindra Bharati University is among the few artists who have no interest in portraying nature in their works. He has always concentrated on human figures. His `New Born' series depicting various activities and postures of a newborn is considered among his best studies of human figures on canvas.


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