In his new collection, Everyday Goddesses, artist Basuki Dasgupta pays tribute to his mother
The collection is being showcased as an online exhibition by Kynkyny art gallery
WHEN ARTIST BASUKI Dasgupta was a young boy in West Bengal, he used to watch his mother run the household on her own. “We had monetary problems then, but she handled everything by herself,” he tells us, adding, “I used to see idols of Goddess Durga and her many arms, and think surely my mother also has several invisible arms. That’s how she can do all these chores.” Basuki’s latest collection of paintings, Everyday Goddesses, uses motifs from mythology and folk art, and is an ode to his mother. The collection is currently being showcased as an online exhibition by Kynkyny art gallery.
All the paintings in the project are brought together by bold shapes and tactile textures on the canvases. The artist fondly remembers his childhood in Bishnupur, and the old, abandoned terracotta temples that were near his home. “We always used to sneak off to those temples to sit and do our homework, or hide and eat snacks,” he recalls. “These temples were very mysterious. And their walls and patterns made a lasting impression on me,” he explains. This influence still shines through in Basuki’s paintings, where through deft use of mixed media, texture is the hero and the priority. Using paper, cardboard and acrylic paint, the artist creates canvases with vivid reds against the backdrop of muted tones.
But the influences don’t stop there. Remembering his childhood again, Basuki tells us how Durga Puja celebrations were more of a social event, than a religious one for him. “It was a culmination of folk and classical culture, both music, as well as art. And this too really inspired me and has been an important feature in my work,” he explains. His work is steeped in folk traditions and one can see shades of Bengali Kalighat paintings, Andhra leather puppets and Odia Patachitra in the canvases.
The symbolism of the red lips and bindis that is a constant in almost all the pieces, reflect feminne energy. At once primordial as well as contemporary, the striking figures draw you in with the power and beauty they radiate. Along with that, nature and mother earth are also a recurring theme. The sun, leaves and ocean waves all make appearances in the pieces. While his mother is obviously the muse, the artist has also dedicated it to all the women who have been with him and supported him through his journey.
Until 15 August. Details: Online
— Anagha M