As a a child, Paresh Maity wanted to be a driver so that he could travel across the world. Today the world-famous artist has been able to realise his dream, thanks to his art. He aims to showcase the diverse places that he has visited and the people he has met during his sojourns in his new exhibition titled Symphonies of Silence. It comprises 30 paintings, two sculptures and two videos. Maity says, “My journeys through the sand dunes of Rajasthan, the backwaters of Kerala and the canals of Venice have been captured in my works. As an artist, I observe, perceive and imagine forms, which I then express in my art. When I travel, I get a peak nto diverse cultures and places that enrich my personality.”
Born in Tamluk, a small town in West Bengal, as a school student Maity would make clay images of gods and goddesses and sell them to fund his education. He says, “Nature is my biggest inspiration. As a child I would sit on the banks of a river, watch the sky’s reflection on the water and the bobbing movement of boats. These images haunted me long after I left my home in Tamluk. I began scribbling when I was eight. The boat was the first image I drew.” After learning oil painting at Government College of Art, Kolkata, he attained a masters at the Delhi College of Art and then the British Council Visitorship.
Maity’s last solo exhibition in Mumbai was in 2009. He reveals that he worked on Symphonies of Silence for two years. He has used bright oil colours and has focused on human faces, with their myriad expressions, cropped and juxtaposed with their surroundings. He elaborates, “Watching a painting is like listening to a concert. Art communicates only through visuals. That’s how the exhibition derives its name. I have tried to capture the essence of humanity in my paintings, so the emphasis is on close-ups.”
The two videos highlight different issues. While the first is based on water’s significance, the second focusses on the journey of life. He says. “It took me two months to shoot these videos. In the future, the world will face the biggest water crisis. In the second video, I have followed the journey of a goods train — how the steam engine puffs smoke, the labourers add coal to rev up the engine and the train stops at various stations.”
Maity’s two sculptures are dynamic. While the former is a glass sculpture celebrating life, the latter is a bronze sculpture that is an ode to the man-woman equation.
The artist, who has had 63 solo exhibitions all over the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, France, UK and USA, now wants to work on creations that help him interact with the audience at close quarters. “I want to create more sculptures and also experiment with murals that will give me a talking point to interact with people,” he concludes.
When and where: Till December 17, 11 am-7 pm, Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda; From December 18 to January 20 at Art Musings gallery, Admirality Building, Colaba Cross Lane
Call: 22843989, 22163339