A slice of daily life & pragmatic affairs

His art unleashes an interesting colour scheme. From the jugglery of monochromatic black and whites to a mixed palette of bright, vivid hues, talented young artist Nandan Purakayastha has ambled in abundance to conceive an assorted array of evocative paintings and drawings.

Recently, this budding painter’s creative cornucopia was beautifully unveiled at the Kolkata’s Weavers Studio Centre For The Arts for an astute connoisseur to delight in.
The exhibition drew hordes of visitors and critics to appreciate Purkayastha’s deep understanding of the different textures of his chosen medium, the motifs in his thought provoking subject and the myriad shades he imported to spawn his abstract-cum-figurative series. The objects and characters in his paintings sometimes border on the murky obscurity, only to shape up into a concrete reality and omit the vagueness in the next moment.
Boasting of varied designs and dimensions to fall back on, Purkayastha makes his specimens appear aesthetically rich to the aficionado’s eyes. His bold riot of colours is often replete with slices of daily life and its pragmatic affairs. His compositions are inspired from true characters and he deftly converts them into illustrative abstractions. He is intrigued by the mask as an object and plays around with the many faces of humans and humanity.
Having assigned no particular title to his display, Purkayastha says, “It is based on different themes, drawn from the clan of warriors, mask-makers or a vignette from the Christ’s Last Supper.”
Talking about the source that triggered off his warrior sequence, he ascertains “Back in circa 1300 B.C., the French movement in architectural realm produced the carvings of warriors on the facades of walls, shrines, forts and other structures.” While the eye-catching mask-art never stops to intrigue his consciousness as an artist, he infers that “different kinds of masks are crafted on diverse occasions — be it festive, cultural or ritualistic. From the dancers on stage to characters in a play, masks form an expressive decorative piece like no other.”
Dipped in colours, these works perceptibly show a figurative development from abstract forms and images. Lending different divisions to his artistic scope of work, Purkayastha dwells on another segment that deals with illustrations. Involving minute detailing of line strokes, the drawings come alive with realistic topics. Using the slender micro-tipped Rotring pens of German-make with points compatible to a conspicuously thin thickness, Purkayastha assures that such tools enable him to embark upon a desirable endeavour. “I like the maze of linear strokes to define a particular picture in graphic detail. It renders a lasting expression on the minds of the viewers,” he explains.
Fond of the texture of the Canson paper, which is not as smooth and plain as canvas, he says, “The pen ink is nicely held and absorbed by the coarse texture of the Canson paper.” For multiple tints, the artist employs both the surfaces of both canvas and Canson paper. “I prefer to apply acrylic and ceramic chromes, because that’s my comfort zone. The tones acquire a shiny, polished effect on the Canson sheet,” he adds.
Introducing himself as a freelance artist, Purkayastha reveals his basic designing background. “I’ve been formally trained from the reputed precincts of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT),” he says. No wonder then that a designer’s stamp is so palpable in his works. Toying with the game of chess, he divulges that he’ll deliver his forthcoming exposition at the gallery of Art Musings in Colaba, Mumbai in March 2014.
Hailing from a family of illustrious artists, Purkayastha is the grand nephew of world-renowned painter Sakti Burman and the nephew of the famous artist Jayasri Burman. Here’s hoping he lives to his great legacy in the years to come.

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