Romancing Kolkata

Jun 16, 2013, 08:18 IST | Punam Chavan

Somenath Maity pays an ode to the city of joy in his new exhibition titled Structures

Born in Darua, a small village near Kolkata, when Somenath Maity moved to the city of joy over three decades ago, he was enamoured by the high-rises and brightly-lit streets. The dichotomy of the rich and poor staying in the same vicinity left an indelible impact on his mind and inspired him to paint a series of works titled Structures. 


Maity says, “When I moved to Kolkata, the sight of high-rises and slums nestled next to each other was captivating. Also in Darua, we hardly had any electricity.

Maity’s favourite painting, Midnight Blue, are some of the works that will be on display

At nights, while our world was plunged into darkness, we depended on moonlight and fireflies. When I came to Kolkata in 1979, I was fascinated by the illuminated city. It was in stark contrast to what I had seen in my village. I wanted to capture this juxtaposition in my paintings, which are largely cityscapes in semi-abstract form.”

The artist uses the interplay of dark colours such as red, blue, brown and olive green and spaces in his works. What also makes them stand apart is the fact that he uses a spatula to paint. Apart from using oil, watercolours and Chinese Ink, he has also used charcoal in some of his works.

His favourite painting is titled Midnight Blue, which depicts the eerie silence of the night after the storm. Another painting titled Durga Puja depicts the aftermath of the celebration of Durga Puja. Maity’s beautiful works showcase his passion for his art. One might presume that it must have been difficult for Maity as he would paint 15 hours every day for two and half months to create Structures. But he smiles and says, “Art is therapeutic for me. I never get stressed while painting.”

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