A brush with Indian Art

I have never been to India, though that far off country fascinates me. Like us, India too is a democracy- the largest democracy, say some, going by their population. I have many Indian friends who now have made the UK their own home. Through them I do keep learning about their country – their monuments, their yoga, their spicy cuisine, but most interestingly their history full of spiritual leaders. But of late, I came across something else from India – art.

One of India’s best known contemporary artists is Devajyoti Ray, known for his unique style called Pseudo-realism. When I saw his paintings for the first time, I was once again awestruck by the connection that Indian contemporary practitioners still maintain with spirituality. His style is very modern and flamboyant, particularly when one sees the way he uses colours. I have not frankly known any other artist who uses such vibrant colours in one’s canvases.

But what is really interesting is that beneath the veneer of vibrant colours there is an underlying spiritual quest, which is sublime and silent. A large number of his works are about beautiful women, in various casual poses. Yet the women are not there for the pleasure of the viewer, but are rather lost in their own thoughts. Every person is Ray’s paintings is engrossed in his or her own time.

Alongside these paintings, Ray also paints monks, some of whom are meditating, some dancing in ecstacy like the Krishna devotees, we often come across in the UK, and Bauls – kind of wandering homeless singers and dancers found in Eastern part of India.

Ray’s style of Pseudo-realism is fast emerging as one of the modern genres of present time alongside Cynical Realism emerging out of China and Superflat movement that started in Japan some years ago.

Below is an example of the art I’ve mentioned, just a teaser of what Ray has to offer (with permission obviously).

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