Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dream of Liberation

As the viewer can immediately see these works almost exclusively focus on womanhood. If some of the compositions are in a semi-realistic mode, e.g. the portrait of a young woman engrossed with her physical being elsewhere, she is also seen seriously dreaming. These last works are more imaginatively inventive- for instance the 'Launching II’, 'Woman in Landscape II'. In several such works women are almost fliers - dragon flies of the upper air. At places the contrast between the traditional woman and the jean clad is suggested, perhaps pointing out at the present day living carried on, on different planes. "Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all, say something! If other compositions converge on sociological exploration, virtually speaking, still others may be intrinsically enjoyed, forgetting all else. Colours plus forms, when done consummately, very often make us put a work themes on the backburners! When we come back to subjects at all, we have already had our pay-off of delight. The artist has a number of

such works, in a wild, abandoned mood. .

Mr.Duttagupta is within his rights to tackle what he fancies but we, the viewers, pine only for sustenance for the eyes - both the outer one, as finally the inner one. He has a few such works. Life being difficult, he has the paucity of time to take his art to the inevitable next step, and the weeding out of the potentially good, from the

utterly thrilling. Artists need time, just more time. I wish him a bonanza of precisely that.

I will end by making a few reflections up asides on the artist's

preoccupation with eve, not that his work is a feminist tract. It represents in some ways what is a visual record of the processes of human consciousness raising itself. It appears as though these woman dreamers wish to tear down the walls that hem them in a crippling social system. They also mean to break. the male - female convent leading to mutual repression and exploitation. Here then is a kind of real sisterhood which is an interplay of multifarious reveries and year rings. A philosophy of liberation, may be celebrating the spirit and flesh of all womankind. This of course applies as well to Indian society, at moments crassly tradition bound.

I would myself, say that the real liberation of women will only come when all separations, both physical and psychological between humans are done away with by engaging the consciousness of women, as also the social order. That is, when love is seen as not mere passion but as comradeship (regardless of civil status, sex or country). Well, even as we enjoy certain of these works on the sensorial plane, they may set off larger matters, whether or not the artist intended them.

Keshav Malik


Waiting I Acrylic on paper Year 2017 Waiting II Acrylic on canvas