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      Volume 11 |Issue 40| October 12, 2012 |


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A world to be discovered, Acrylic on fibre-glass, 81x50x50cm, 2011, India.


Anika Hossain

Vinita Karim's life has been about travelling, dreaming and painting. Born to an Indian family residing in Burma, the artist's life has always been about globe trotting. Her father's diplomatic career took him and his family to many exotic destinations, “I have lived in places like Sudan, Kuwait, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sweden and have been exposed to places, people, culture and nature that inspire me,” says Vinita.

Seeds of harmony 1, acrylic and oil on canvas, 76x118 cm, 2011, Bangladesh.

Being familiar mostly with urban life, many of Vinita's paintings depict cities, but the artist manages to portray these images in a way that gives them a dreamlike quality. “Cities, strange and beautiful, teeming with life and paradoxes, are a source of inspiration for me,” says Vinita. “The cities around me in India and Bangladesh are on the move. Rapidly growing, they are filled with the old and new living in close proximity -- flyovers and skyscrapers augmenting the natural horizon and transforming it irrevocably. Within these broad strokes and large changes there are smaller constants; the colours of the market, the persistent flow in and out of the city and the rivers. All of which define, as well as provide, context and structure to my work. I have been inspired by the works of Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist, Paul Klee and Mark Rothko,” says the artist. “I am always exploring myself through my paintings and I don't know if I have found myself yet.”

Vinita began her artistic education at the Fine Arts at Gerlesborg Art Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where she decided to pursue art as a career. “After I graduated, I moved around different places, met my husband, who is a Bangladeshi, got married and finally moved to the Philippines where I completed my Masters in fine arts.”

The artist experimented with water colour landscapes at the beginning of her career, and later moved on to oil paintings and abstracts. “I started working with oils when I moved to India and later to Bangladesh,” says Vinita. “When I lived in Egypt for six years, I experimented with figurative work using more imaginative colours and a little abstract too. You will see globes incorporated in my work because I consider myself a world citizen.” Vinita also worked on abstracts in the Philippines, where she started using gold leaf as a medium in her work which later became a sort of signature for her. “I love the effect of gold leaf in my paintings, it is so delicate and difficult to use and yet it adds richness to my work,” she says.

Gift of life,1994, 29.5x21.5

Vinita has had solo and group exhibitions in places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Murten, Berne, Cairo, Tripoli, Manila, Geneva and Dhaka. “I am now preparing for two upcoming exhibitions, one, which will be held this November in New Jersey called “Confluence,” one in Dhaka this October called “Explore. Dream. Discover” and another is currently happening in New Mexico up in Santa Fe,” she says elatedly.

“A famous auction house in Canada known as Waddington, which has been buying art work for at least 200 years has recently purchased six large paintings of mine,” shares Vinita. “They are being displayed at their exhibition, “The Trojan Project,” which starts on 23 October this year, so I am very excited about that.”

Her most special solo exhibition however, will be held at the Bengal Art Gallery, here in Dhaka, this October from the 13th to the 25th. “This exhibition is close to my heart because it will show the evolution of my work over the past two decades,” says Vinita. The exhibition has been named “Explore. Dream. Discover,” after her favourite quote from Mark Twain- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Vinita Karim considers this her motto in life and her guide for her future successful career as an artist with a truly imaginative and distinctive style.

The sky speaks red 2, Acrylic and gold-leaf on canvas, 96x152 cm, 2012, India.


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