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      Volume 12 |Issue 05| February 01, 2013 |


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Winter Story 5, 2012.

Dreams and Feelings

Fayza Haq

Anukul Majumdar, who worked for Shilpangan Art Gallery until Faiz Ahmed, the founder-owner passed away, is having his third solo, with 40 paintings. The 43-year-old painter has many artists as his close friends, living in the vicinity of Shankar — Rashid Amin, who teaches as an art professor in the College for Alternate Education. He certainly has a sense of satisfaction, as he has come from a village to the Institute of Fine Arts, DU and has enjoyed his creative work to the hilt whether in oil or acrylic or crayon. At present, he is a freelance painter and is enjoying the status.

For him it is expressing his mind and soul that matters. Feelings and dreams are important in his life. He feels every painter should know about the line of Rennaissance painters - Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Botticelli. The Dutch master painters, like Rembrandt are also important. And thanks to the internet all this has become so much easier he says.

Black and White, wood cut print, 2012.
Winter Story, 2012.

In Bangladesh it is S M Sultan, who has made a heroic presentation of the farmers and fishermen of Bengal, who inspires him most of all. He respects Kibria and Shafiuddin, but it is Rafiqun Nabi who has egged him on.

Anukul is bursting with passion just as his ideal Vincent Van Gogh was. This fairly young artist, is not out to impress, but feed the mind of viewers. He wants his onlookers to feel “My heart leaps up”. His vibrant colours and lines—orange, vermilion and navy blue send electrical impulses to the mind of the viewer. He finds beauty and interest in the most common things of life—like street lights, the dust on the streets, the getting together in street corners, sipping tea and yarning of the common people. Even the average cart of winter vegetables means interest for this artist.

Anukul still paints the elements from Nature—like the clouds and the breeze around us. He again has the Baul and his companions, plus the buffalos, and the mother and child themes. Yet he is more impressionistic, suggestive. His creations today with the dramatic touch of charcoal, are more like a fragment of a dream or a vision. The chaotic modern existence with the dearth of water and melting homes of the polar bear, the shedding of leaves for want of water—all go into the making of his creative work. Even someone who adores realism will enjoy his departure to semi-abstraction.

Asked about the work he has done this time for his solo, Anukul says: "Acrylic plus charcoal – what I call mixed media. The subjects, for 15 years, have been Nature — gloomy weather, dust, high population, rainy weather, a rising city – when the villagers move to the city for economic reasons.” In the last five years his nostalgic ties with his village are seen in his paintings – with the boat giving way to electricity driven river launches. One finds modern technology along side environmental chaos. The subjects are a combination of the reflection of life, which is figurative and semi-figurative, says the painter. Thus his artistic sensibility has gradually developed. In the first creation there is deep blue and grey, with jet-black lines between. A second painting is full of earthy colours mixed with grey, white, swirls—both evocative and imaginative. Ruby red is also seen with other contrasting colours, which strike the mind.

One work is meant to be the expression of a portrait with minimal lines — so that one feels that one's ancestor's spirit from the past is staring at one. There is the shadow of a baul who sings and dances in one's memories. This is the overwhelming painting in vermilion—it contains both the singer and his helper, with the “Banglar dhol” and the castanet like instrument which is clapped together.

The last solo of the painter was in 2010. A lot of change is seen since then. Being a full-time painter, he experiments at will. There is nothing that is clear and photographic. The blues and reds present figures from the part for a child. The earthy creation, massive in size, brings the image of a woman with opulent breasts, long limbs. Her derriere to boast, has clinging children that she brings up. Thus we get a modern version of the mother and child—the infant craving for more attention than ever. There is a time, the artist says, when a person is just like a shadow from the past. “Matter cannot be destroyed so the memories form the past of the dear ones will always be there—moving in your mind, memory and imagination,” says the artist vehemently—defending his departure to semi-abstraction. This development and change is to avoid boredom. The figures are done in ash grey.

In three years he hopes to exhibit 40 pieces. Anukul, like his icon Van Gogh, expresses moods and ideas which haunt and overwhelm him. No doubt, he knows that just as pleasing the dictates of the galleries is vital so also to have a living for himself and his small family, is necessary. To earn money for the paints and brushes go hand-in-hand in expressing his dreams and desires. He has overcome financial and family crises to an extent. He feels that unless he paints and draws each day, he does not live. His whole existence revolves around his drawing and painting. For 20 years he has been painting with an aim - to excel and capture minds.




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