Jatin Das 18 pass 80
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Jatin Das with his children Nandita, Siddhartha and Rehan at the opening
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(PIC: Ancela jamindar)
Enter the Archer gallery near Vijay Char Rasta, it will feel like entering another realm. Why? Because there are only a few artists who can pull the whole community like a moth. And here we are talking about Padma Bhushan Jatin Das, whose works are currently on display in the exhibition “Prakruti Purush”, whose opening saw art connoisseurs, artists and art lovers of all kinds – purists , neophytes and awakened, veterans, gurus and promising – rushing to be part of the Das-sphere.
Mirror caught up with the artist a few hours before the official opening, wishing to get a taste of the idea of “Prakruti Purush” and, of course, chat with the creator. The artist – who turns 80 on December 2 – presents his works here after nearly a decade.
With a body of work – comprising paintings, sculptures and murals – spanning more than four decades, you’d think one of India’s best-known contemporary artists would like to take it slow. Not really. In 2020 itself, when the world was in the grip of the rogue virus, the artist ended up creating 300 to 400 ink paintings of the migrant exodus. “I was in my hometown for most of the lockdown. I was deeply disturbed watching and reading the exodus of migrants. It prompted me to portray their ordeal on canvas, and the series was also featured in an exhibition in New Delhi in February of this year, ”he recalls.
With Prakruti Purush, he explored the energy of Shiva. “I am always excited and inspired by the free spirit of Shiva. Many of my figurations make Shiva dance. I am fascinated by the poetic, metaphorical, philosophical and spiritual aspects of the rhythm, the figurines of Brahma Rekha”, explains the artist. , who works mainly in oils, ink and watercolors.
He adds: “As I continued to draw and paint, the works took on the energy of Shiva Shakti. I started to visualize the series on Shiva, like Prakruti and Purush. There can be no form unless there is prakruti, it is ‘Ardhanarishvara’. I was amazed to see an ‘Ardhanarishvara’ sculpture even in Egypt! And when one day someone read the different forms of Shiva, to my surprise, they matched the postures I had painted! “
Over 100 works are on display – all created in Ahmedabad while the artist was working on murals for Adani Corporate at Adani Shantigram in 2019. There are prints, paintings, in various shapes and sizes, acrylic on terracotta, acrylic on board, silkscreen on paper, ink on paper, et al.
To never mince words, the 79-year-old defends his point of view on the country’s current art scene, saying it is “more about selling than art now”. “I have the impression that there are great writers, poets and painters in this country, but we are all looking for the money, the name and the construction of concrete buildings. It was not the culture in our country earlier. I knew most newspaper and magazine editors would come to my show sooner, I had never been to a reporter in my life.
“A lot of people do things for promotions these days – I’m not saying I don’t want promotions, but I don’t want to do it by having fun or gossiping. I prefer my work to do all the talking, ”says the multi-hyphen. School of Fine Arts alumnus Sir JJ then talks about his art center in Odisha. “I am creating an art center in Bhuvneshwar, not a museum. It is built with donations of all my artwork. I am almost 80 years old, but I do not have a home of my own, whereas my contemporaries have eight in several cities. And here I am creating an art center, designed by (architecture dean)
The veteran signed, but not before adding that he was looking for someone to translate his book into Gujarati, and that “I have a lot of projects waiting to be completed, so I think this is my last show in Gujarat. now “.
Prakruti Purush is on display at Archer Art Gallery, Vijay Crossroads, until December 11, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed Sundays).