CITIES IN MOTION – Kolkata to Mumbai
An Exhibition of Paintings by ANANTA MANDAL
31st August – 15th September
Kolkata, the City of Joy, a treasure of many people’s many beautiful stories. My artistic journey too has a story which started from this City only.
In 2001, as I got to study in Govt. College of Art & Craft, I started to stay in Kolkata. My college hostel was an architecture from old British period of Kolkata that time whose glimpse still resembles the same. In 2008, I left Kolkata and it’s 10 years thereafter.
Early this year I was in Kolkata to do some outdoor studies for this show. The same old architecture, busy streets, muscle men busy on their daily works, hand pulled rickshaws, tram & tramline, winter mornings, all together it was the nostalgic flashback in one frame for me.
Like a film, there was a growing young boy started dreaming of becoming an artist one day. Restlessly his day-night became the practice of capturing compositions of Kolkata. Long 6 years the boy nourished his skills in different shades of Kolkata and finally one day he moved to another city of dreams. That me was me today!
In those long days, Kolkata’s city life became one of my main subjects as my outdoor sessions were capturing compositions of streets on my college to hostel route and surrounding areas was something I used to do. My paintings reflect the motion of the city life, movement of people & their portrait, old architectures, mysterious city weather, foggy mornings, rainy season, light and dark shades of busy streets, hustle & bustle of city life and colorful festivals. Various mediums like pencil, charcoal, conte, watercolor, acrylic and oil etc were in my practicing list.
By the end of my college it was the deep bonding already made with the city. But it was not the end.
During my college days I visited Mumbai and soon after receiving my bachelor degree I moved to Mumbai. It was 2008 since when Mumbai became my second home.
Besides doing paintings on Kolkata, I started developing my concepts on other subjects too. My surrealist paintings were one of those emerging thoughts mostly based on figurative, portrait and nature’s many moods. By the next few years the subjects were not just limited into Kolkata paintings and surrealism paintings anymore. Kolkata was in my heart but the acknowledgment I got from Mumbai was amazing inside. Slowly falling in love with the busy life of Mumbai, the city that never sleeps becomes my new visions.
In 2011, my 9th solo exhibition was entirely on Mumbai series. After that Mumbai’s life became a part among my subjects like gothic architecture of CST railway station, The Gateway and Taj hotel, City skyline and sea harbor, Bandra-Worli Sea link, scenes of busy roads, suburban Railway etc. Like Durga festival, Ganesh festival too became my favorite subject.
Well, Kolkata and Mumbai, these two cities are quite a distance from each other but they have one similarity among many, that is both the cities have accepted me. I find them mine. For me this was a beautiful journey between two cities, which has enriched me with a lot of artistic experiences. Somewhere they made what I’m today.
So, this is how I thought together with these two cities an wonderful exhibition can happen. It is my umpteen pleasure to be featured by Gallery Art and Soul for giving me such amazing space to exhibit these two cities in different frames. I wish you will also love and connect with these Cities in Motion from Kolkata to Mumbai.
About Ananta Mandal
Ananta Mandal is an award winning internationally recognized contemporary Indian Artist. He is an expressive and imaginative painter. Mostly his paintings are created in impressionist manner and surrealist way in various mediums like watercolor, oil and acrylic. He lives and works in Mumbai, India.
He has evolved a highly individual style, deeply contemporary in its sensibilities. His paintings are best known for realistic urban landscapes. His brush stroke speaks of many things: the hustle and bustle of modern city life, figurative movements, festive seasons, seascapes and lakes, the time endured old railway steam engine, tropical desert, and the many moods of nature; where fluid moments are brilliantly captured by the artist. He has also gained recognition for his surrealistic paintings.
Ananta excellent achievements include many national and international awards from Northwest Watercolor Society, Washington, USA in 2017, the First Place Award from Watercolor Art Society-Houston, U.S.A. in 2013, Award for Best Landscape in Watercolor from The Bombay Art Society, Mumbai, in both 2011 and 2006, and many more to mention. He participated in the most prestigious Harmony Art show, Mumbai in 2008.
Ananta is a member of numerous art organizations, including Member of The Pennsylvania Watercolor Society 2012-13, San Diego Watercolor Society, U.S.A. 2008-09, Philadelphia Water Color Society, U.S.A. 2008-09. Life Member of the Bombay Art Society and the Art Society of India, Mumbai.
Besides involving himself in Workshops, he also keeps himself busy in making experimental art films based on paintings, Video Installations.
His works can be viewed in numerous public and private collections worldwide.