Bikash Bhattacharjee, a master in oil and pastel, is generally recognized as one of India's leading painters in the Western Surrealist tradition. Bikash lost his father as a child and his consequent struggle for survival is often reflected in his work. Through his paintings, he depicts the life of average middle-class Bengalis; their aspirations, superstitions, hypocrisy and corruption, and even the violence that was once endemic to Calcutta. His ablity to juxtapose the real with the unreal creates a world of haunting and hypnotic imagery.
The artist, '...repeated his allegiance to cinema in work after work that appears cinematic in composition and treatment of light. The portraits are sometimes like cameos on film. Works like Game (1995) with its stunning scale and apocalyptic parable or Visharjan (2000) boast the panoramic compass and dramatic pageantry of epic movies.' (Rita Datta 'From Indian to Individual' in Art of Bengal, CIMA, Kolkata/ Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, 2003).
As with his other works, Bikash uses light and shade to great effect in imparting his own dimension to the scene and creating social commentary through his practice. In this painting, the woman's face is almost entirely obscured, her body is covered with a conservative saree, yet her red lips and red bindi stand out amonst the darkness, affirming her traditional status but re-iterating her voice.
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