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Capturing the endless drama of life on canvas

Q&A with Artist Avijit Dutta

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Kolkata-based global artist Avijit Dutta showed for the sixth time at the recently concluded India Art Fair in Delhi. The show, titled ‘Masquerade—An Endless Drama’, was presented by Hyderabad’s Kalakriti Art Gallery. The Luxury Chronicle caught up with the artist to understand his artistic process and what inspires him to paint.


Artist Avijit Dutta

You’ve had several solo shows at the India Art Fair over the years. How did it feel to exhibit at the India Art Fair this time round?
It was an exciting and pleasing experience this year, especially as the fair is getting more extensive and more diverse.

What was the theme of your show? What issues do the paintings in the show highlight?
The theme concerns the routine and compelling enactments, and façades humans carry out of routine needs and habits. Through different visual contexts and representations, my works speak on this theme of being part of this masquerade for societal acceptance and professional and personal growth.

How important is the role of the audience in nurturing art and artists? Has the audience changed over time?
Of course, the role of the audience is an integral part of nurturing art and the artists. An artist speaks in his unique visual language at the end to be understood and understand the world around him. The audience connection is vital to this; an artist always wishes to touch as many as possible. Yes, just like newer art techniques and aesthetics have emerged over time, so have the ways art is presented and how it is viewed. Art has transcended from a formal appreciation of beauty to the audience now seeking a cultural, philosophical, or social meaning and interpretation. This has been influenced by social media and expanding audience reach to art now. More people are viewing art.

How has your artistic style evolved over the years?
I have always preferred using tempera for its comfort and depth. As for the style, I’m leaving it to my respected audience to specify or interpret my style evolution over the years. Art has been both a vessel of my conscious and subconscious journey.

Do places inspire you? What role does Kolkata play in your art?
Yes, places have always impacted me and my art. A place’s unique essence and character serve as a vital element as I hold my brush. Kolkata is a magical and complex place infused with many characters, stories, and sensibilities. I am always close to reflecting on that. The city is me, and I am the city.

Could you describe your entire artistic process for a painting from concept to finish? For example, are you planned and methodical, or are you spontaneous? How do you decide the subject of the artwork, etc?
It depends. Usually, a spark germinates and starts something small that later expands into a significant idea when my work spreads over the canvas. It’s not always pre-conceived. I would say it’s a mixture of spontaneity and well-thought concepts.

Do you paint or work across a variety of mediums?
Due to the nature and mood of my work, watercolour and tempera best resonate with my art practice. If you revisit my works, you will find I have used these two mediums extensively.

What themes are you working on currently?
I have just started contemplating and embarking on my next project. It’s still early. I would prefer to divulge details closer to the date of its presentation to the audience.



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