Conversation in Time

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These are paintings by Ashoke Mullick from Kolkata who is showcasing `Conversation in Time’ at the Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad, till March 5, 2012.

This is what Ashoke Mullick has to say :

“As a young five years old, I am playing around in my father’s commercial studio, watching how he adds a finishing touch to a job for the advertising agency. I draw on a piece of paper and colour my drawings from his poster colours. My artistic voyage begins….

This memory of mine has become crucial to my being able to function as a painter at all times, during periods of anxiety, creativity, and even sickness. Almost daily, my rendezvous in my studio supplies me with a structure and discipline that is sometimes pleasurable and demanding.

My taste in reading, my fascination with the subject of the book I read feeds into my visual text surreptitiously, especially those texts that talk of the relationship between politics and aesthetics or cinema and prose fiction. Along with nuances of language, it is the city in which I live that becomes a part of my recitals laced with irony and humour.

Calcutta, where I was born, has a complicated, dense web of valences that is very much a part of my growing up, gaining an identity, forming consciousness of myself and others. Its mid-summer streets, the displaced forms of departures, arrivals, farewells, exile, nostalgia, city’s changing architectures, belongings, and the indomitable spirit of the burgeoning middle-class, all of them build my painted space, which becomes a celebration of the identity as something multiple and fluid, and, in turn, creates my dissonant identity.

My works bear a style and character that stems from a desire to create a certain dimension. Whichever colour I apply emerges creatively from the roots of an underlying reality. I feel in them a physical sensation, which is why my works move towards a sculptural framework and depth. Every picture grows out of an organic and vital reaction, just like a tree growing to its full height and strength. Often my portraits of the family have a touch of fantasy and satire. Taken together they become a kind of human drama. In all this I try to sustain a touch of humour and a sense of composition. It grows into a series. Couples, fishermen, a lonely woman, a nude man, jewellery, prostitutes, mask, primitive men etc. seen in one’s childhood, all become a part of the nostalgic experience as well as the imagination, often seen in distorted forms.”

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