ANNIV SPL: Artist Manish Moitra talks about art today and his future exhibitions

Artist Manish Moitra whose use of acrylic gouache is well known, speaks on the changing nature of artistic expression 
Manish and his artwork
Manish and his artwork

Emerging artist Manish Moitra’s works display the flamboyancy of colours and details juxtaposing the urbane world and wilderness drawing from his surroundings, nature, and history. His work reflects techniques of miniature art combined with his knowledge of contemporariness using acrylic and gouache.

Often a commentary on society, Moitra's works have been displayed at Rabindra Bharati University, Gorky Sadan, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru, Gallery Arctic Vision, Mumbai, Maya Art Space CIMA Gallery and others. Indulge speaks with him on his upcoming works  and how art is shaping up today.

What inspires your artwork?

My inspirations are my immediate surroundings and nature. It need not always be landscape or cityscape it can also be the people I am surrounded with.

What mediums do you prefer to work with?

I like working with mixed media, oil, and acrylic. But our Indian weather is not suitable for oil so my favourite medium is gouache and acrylic.

How do you use art as a medium of storytelling?

Art is a visual medium of storytelling where one can express their feelings, opinions, societal views, etc. I also use it to portray my feelings, my likes and dislikes.

Artist/s who inspire you…

I like Diego Rivera or Henry Martin among Western artists. Among Indians, I like Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukhopadhyay. Drawing inspiration from Mukhopadhyay’s work my works have also changed.

How would you describe your aesthetic style?

After years of practice and experience a style is created. I am also working in that direction. I work figuratively with the main focus on social content. My style will emerge in the future and how it grows or its history will also be determined in the future. I am still on the journey.

How is today’s art attracting the youth?

Today artists are exhibiting in various places, there are several grants, and also social media is present, these are attracting young artists today. Common people are more aware of where art exhibitions or fairs are taking place. They follow newspapers or Instagram/ Facebook. This is prevalent in today’s youth and might grow in the future. For artists, the bridge between Indian and Western art is lessening. Experimental Art is on the rise. This is positive because we get to see new works but it is also imperative to sustain it till the end.

What are you currently working on?

In February I have a show with CIMA in New Delhi for their 30th anniversary, so I am working on something for that exhibition. It’s a series of work on migration. Kolkata today is changing. I live around Bijoygarh which was a colony neighbourhood but is slowly seeing the rise of multi-storey buildings. How the demographics of the place are changing forms the crux of the work.

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