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Artist Profile3
Depicting the emotional self…
Promising painter Nitish Bhattacharjee describes his work as a documentation of his memories, his impressions and his perceptions of the immediate surroundings. The events in his personal life, which happen by design or by accident, tend to leave a deep impact on him emotionally.

He elaborates: “My beliefs and biases based on past experiences creep into my work. Negative or hurtful memories, their pinch, agony, and the sense of hurt stays with me. It gets metamorphosed in a sequence of visuals that are instinctive yet analytical.”

One of the talented, young artists from India, Nitish Bhattacharjee, received his Bachelor’s degree in painting in 1996 and completed his Master’s in 1998, from the Indore School. He already has a number of solo shows to his credit apart from the participation in select group shows including ‘Expressions New York’ at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi and The Harmony show. His works are in many prestigious collections in India and abroad.

The artist is particularly known for his acrylic works in bright colors on large expanses of canvas and paper. Initially, he worked in a realistic mode. His body of work was predominantly figurative; gradually he cut down on the imagery.

Mapping his development as an artist, Nitish Bhattacharjee says, “Over a period of time, I have switched to abstract art. I rather term it non-representational art. The transformation from form to formlessness is near complete. I cannot though discount the reversal of the phenomenon as I may still go back to figurative.” Personally, he believes that such tags are irrelevant as long as the artist is able to convey his viewpoint to the viewer.

The artist avers that he consciously shuns excessive decoration or ornamentation in his work, and prefers a ‘minimalist’ approach. Despite this, his creations carry a refreshing and exhilarating feel owing to meticulous execution.

Nitish Bhattacharjee infuses energy and vigor into his work with brisk, bold brushstrokes. He likes to have the pictorial plane always visually balanced. It’s often ‘organized’ by striking, flat, color panels, which frame patches of free brush work. He uses all sorts of forms, barring symmetrical or identical ones. As an artist, he doesn’t want to fall into a pattern, and to create something that is obvious or fathomable.

A painting is not over for him till he reaches a point of no return. This can happen in the spur of a moment or can take months, as he puts it, “The journey is fascinating all the same. Till the work is complete, the feeling of restlessness lingers, which pushes and prompts me to probe further.”

The artist is not looking to make any statements or pass any judgments through his work. There are no observations or comments on socio-political trends. His concerns as an artist are rather individualistic, as he reveals: “Depicting my emotional self is the primary agenda. The output largely depends on the state of my mind. I paint what I experience and feel inside.”

It may be a dilemma or a crisis or a sheer vacuum that he is experiencing at a given moment that he pours out on the canvas. Explaining his artistic philosophy, Nitish Bhattacharjee mentions that painting is ‘a process of making sense out of me’. He adds: “When I paint, I interact with the canvas. It becomes my companion and co-traveler in an endless artistic journey. My vulnerabilities and biases, my tensions and conflicts or my unfulfilled resolutions all resurface on it. I try to extract the essence of these experiences to a point and empty them out on canvas beyond which I believe there is nothing left to express.”

The motifs he uses can be from immediate surroundings and be very mundane like stones, bindis and iron rods. There are preconceived notions that people carry about familiar objects that he tries to break. He picks any object at random and puts it in the context of his personal experiences. This curious mix and match forms the crux of his work.

In what way the viewers would relate or connect to these purely personal narratives is a matter of sheer conjecture. The artist, though, is assured of their favorable feedback. I leave it to them to judge my work and my sincerity of purpose, he concludes.