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Any two dimensional art work consists of two basic elements, form and colour.
Theories of art and the thoughts of artists revolve around this two basic premises. In post-industrial Europe, there had taken place a lot of experimentation in this two aspects. While artists like Picasso have concentrated only on forms, artists like Matisse and Renoir and Van Gogh dealt in the exhuberance of colours. A parallel to the situation can also be drawn in the context of art of Bengal. When Abanindranath Tagore and other artists of the Bengal School apealed for an Indian form of art, they drew inspiration from formatically  spatial art of the tribes or the asymetric and two dimensional ink-drawings of the Japanese.

Gagnendranath Tagore and Jamini Roy on the other hand gave due importance to colours.

Jogen Choudhuri

 

Distortion of forms in paintings of Jogen Cahudhuri (above) and Paritosh Sen (below). There had been a time when artists tried to develop their own ways of distorting reality in their specific forms. the most successful among them are probably artists like Jogen Chaudhuri, Lalu Shaw, and Praksh Karmakar.

Paritosh Sen

In the post independence period, we see a lot of experimentation in forms. Jogen Chaudhuri's malleable bodies, Ganesh Pynes' slight distortions, Paritosh Sen 's semi-cubist forms are all examples of formatic experimentations, but somehow the use of colours was given very little prominence during this period. 

In the post liberalization phase, we are now seeing  new experimentations in colour-schemes. Pseudorealism is the product of this new wave of experimentation where colours are given primacy and chosen in such a fashion that they create a realistic imagery without imitating the colours of the nature.

 

 
    

        Devajyoti Ray born in 1974 is today one of the youngest masters of Indian Art. In fact he has often been heralded as the most promising artist of the new generation and in days to come he is likely to emerge as the best of his time.

        Like Sunil Das and BR Panesar, Ray too had joined initially as a government officer and then by force of his talent entered the art world independently. Like BR Panesar, Ray’s works are independent of the influence of the regular art school styles. And in fact so independent is his style that critics have called his art a new genre.

Devajyoti Ray

        The word Pseudorealism  which is often attached to Ray’s works is in fact a term that was associated with films but Ray had drafted it according to his own needs to create a new style of visual imagery where he uses offbeat colours and shapes to create a pseudo-balance. It is thus a style that is rooted in the new Indian reality and in a way marks a new phase in Art of post-liberalization India.

  

Painting of Devajyoti Ray

Ray's paintings showing scenes of daily life painted in a style that uses abstraction to approach realism

Acrylic work of Devajyoti Ray

 

Medium and Techniques of Work

         Ray paints predominantly in acrylic. Since Ray had no formal training in art, his techniques are largely self-developed and this adds to his uniqueness. Ray uses large areas of flat colours, offbeat shapes and yet at the end the paintings look realistic and comprehendible. Ray has also worked in water colours and mixed media and has produced many new forms of experimental art. His collages , which had a special feature of looking like scraps of haphazard papers but forming clear realistic scenes when seen from a distance was also a novelty of the young artist.

        Yet Ray is predominantly known as an acrylic and oil artist.

Major Themes

        Ray paints scenes of everyday life with a touch of subtle irony. His paintings do not make any statement and in fact Ray scoffs at artists who makes statements. Ray’s works are for viewers to see and enjoy and then ponder over the hidden irony.

 

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