Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Making of a painting "mother and child" 2014









Copyright © All rights reserved by artist ANIRBAN MITRA for his work posted in this blog. The reproduction, publication, modification, transmission or exploitation of any work contained herein for any use, personal or commercial, without my prior written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.




Making of a drawing " George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston"







Copyright © All rights reserved by artist ANIRBAN MITRA for his work posted in this blog. The reproduction, publication, modification, transmission or exploitation of any work contained herein for any use, personal or commercial, without my prior written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Redrawing Mr Muscle 2013


Copyright © All rights reserved by artist ANIRBAN MITRA for his work posted in this blog. The reproduction, publication, modification, transmission or exploitation of any work contained herein for any use, personal or commercial, without my prior written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shivani Bali reviews ANIRBAN MITRA’S DEBUT SOLO AT SAKSHI GALLERY, MUMBAI

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEEShivani Bali deciphers the montage of images contained in the works of Anirban Mitra: A rudimentary glance at Anirban Mitra's art works evokes the same sense of intimidation that a novice would experience on conjecture about the notorious Indian Society; owing to the vibrant colours, utter lack of breathing space, confusion and most importantly the immensity of information that both of these have to offer to the keen investigator. The unadorned white walls of the modestly sized Sakshi Art Gallery; purveyor of Mitra's first solo show; complement the vivacity of his humongous canvases. Titled ‘Inspecting the Construction’; this exhibition, curated by Sanyogita Deo and on display from the 9th of November to the 2nd of December, consists of Acrylic-on-Canvas Paintings, Triptychs and Photographs, all of which scrutinize the complex contemporary societal structure of India. On being presented with an overwhelming fusion of such seemingly unrelated elements, painted in vibrant colours that are characteristic of Indian culture, the mind of the viewer is initially ambushed. A chaos manifests and grows until one closely observes the works and interacts with each of its components. In doing so, even the most amateur audience can appreciate the relationships between the plethora of divergent elements; and equally admire the uninhibited yet harmonious use of loud colours.As is revealed in the text accompanying the exhibition, Mitra extensively employs frail bamboo pandals1 (which are a metaphor for the proverbial Indian hierarchy) to question the durability of, and possibly signify an eventual yet inevitable breakdown of society - as we know it. These, along with the snails that are juxtaposed as instruments to examine the social order, are a regular feature in his work. While the combination of religious symbolisms with commercial advertisements may seem casual, through it, the artist successfully expunges the boundaries between what are traditionally believed to be ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ art forms. His post modernistic approach, though compelling, proves to be more illustrative than judgemental, leaving much room for interpretation. One fascinatingly self-contradictory oeuvre that investigates the nature of India's power structure is The Tower of Babel. At the head of a high bamboo network representing the social ladder stand two great monarchs - Shah Jahan and the Shah of Persia. Embracing each other whilst one without a visage stands on a goat; and the other, on a lion - they represent a lack of uniformity in status between two people in a seemingly similar position.Below this sits an advertisement for Wagh Bakhri Chai;2 that signifies the unification of the weak with the strong or the haves with the have-nots. The illustration in the advertisement involves a tiger and a goat - inherently unequal; drinking tea from the same vessel, denoting equality. The idea of a predator evidently bonding with his prey over a cup of tea may be considered highly pertinent, to a country that believes tea to be a social stimulant. Interestingly, the tagline of this advertisement translates to “Maintaining cordial relations, always.”1 Temporary constructions used at Indian wedding ceremonies. 2 The name of an Indian tea brand that translates to "Tiger Goat tea."




A decontamination of civilization from false power struggles and evil is inventively connoted through the placement of snails (believed to be purifiers of the soil) over plastic guns. Satirically, this elaborate assemblage rests on a temporary bamboo formation.In another, titled Grow More Food (Part 2), Mitra substantiates the popular notion that India is a "land of extremes." The image of Bakasura3 gulping down every morsel of food represents greed. Standing around him are gaunt yellow-orange figures, completely devoid of any nutrition. This contrasting visual evokes the feeling that, a lot like Bakasura - the well-to-do Indian, somewhere along the path of providing for himself, got gluttonous and took more than just his own share. Such a sentiment is further validated by the placement of a harvest tool in the hands of the mighty headless figure, which effectively emphasises the extent to which the food flow of this country can be manipulated by the influential. Almost as if to mock the food crisis and trivialise the suffering of the people, an illustration of FarmVille4 sits sneeringly at the bottom of this otherwise evocative canvas. While the theme of this exposition may be awfully banal to some, Mitra's unique style of articulating and embodying it in his work provides the expert with a fresh perspective and the novice with food for thought. The profundity of the varied symbolisms used in these paintings, however, may be unfathomable to one who lacks elementary knowledge about the Indian lifestyle; so deep rooted are the issues addressed through these seemingly blithe paintings. Bursting with references to the Bengali way of life, Mitra's works reflect his origin and upbringing. Having earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Fine Arts from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharti University, Santiniketan; the artist went on to participate in several prominent group exhibitions at an international level. Throughout this journey, his work has been evidence of his eternal search for inspiration. Right from his backyard in Kolkata that is bustling with snails to television shows such as "Man vs. Food" and the popular Bengali comic, "Batul the Great"; Mitra impartially considers things that most would shrug off as inconsequential, and incorporates them into his creations. Whether the ingenuity in his selection and arrangement of elements is by design or by chance - we might never know, especially since he claims to work without any preconceptions. Albeit the contextual intricacies of Mitra's work, a connoisseur will undoubtedly find himself unable to walk away from these paintings until he satisfies his instinctive itch to find some semblance of meaning in it.3 A demon in Hindu mythology who lived near Ekachara, West Bengal and was feared for his insatiable appetite. Not only did he devour the provisions sent to him by the king, but also the people who carried them. 4 A farming simulation game on social networking sites.
 




































Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Making of a painting "Exhibition of Kalighat Painting in Victoria Memorial Hall" 2013















































































Copyright © All rights reserved by artist ANIRBAN MITRA for his work posted in this blog. The reproduction, publication, modification, transmission or exploitation of any work contained herein for any use, personal or commercial, without my prior written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.