For the masters
EXHIBITION Sanjay Bhattacharyya pay s tribute to Salvador Dali and Rembrandt.
FOR MENTORS A few of Sanjay Bhattacharyya's images on view at Maurya Sheraton hotel.
As a third year student of fine arts from the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Kolkata, Sanjay Bhattacharyya used to passionately read books on the great 17th Century master painter Rembrandt. He would have an eyeful of the 20th Century surrealist Salvador Dali too. "One day I would also paint like them," he would tell himself. His mentor Bikash Bhattacharya would tell him often, "Don't paint Dali and Rembrandt in the initial years of your career. Just see them." These words "would haunt" Sanjay often. So to quench the thirst to paint them, he would often end up creating canvases on them, not for display but for himself. It was only after Harsh Goenka once called him up and said, "If you want to paint Dali, go ahead. So far only Bikash Bhattacharya has done this. You will be the first in your generation to do it." From then onwards, Sanjay's dream found new wings. From 1999 to 2000, he kept painting these two masters and the elements found in their works. The works were so liked by art connoisseurs that they were all sold as soon as he painted them.
When in 2002 R.P Enterprises organised a show called Masters and Mentors in Mumbai, Sanjay collected his sold works from Mumbai, Vadodara, Kolkata and Delhi. He finally managed to procure 10 out of the 11 works and exhibited them at Jahangir Art Gallery in Mumbai. The same collection, My Tribute to Masters has travelled to Delhi's Maurya Sheraton hotel for only two days (this Friday and Saturday) after which the works would return to their owners.
Says an overwhelmed Sanjay, "The owner of the oldest gallery Chelmsford in Mumbai told me that Mumbai never saw such a strong show at Jahangir in its history."
Sanjay has divided his works into three categories: these masters' persona, elements and technique they used, and the expression on their faces. "Dali had a strange habit of collecting strange things as fish skeleton, screw, etc. These articles, especially nuts and bolts, always fly in the sky in his works. I have kept it like that in my works too. Dali once lifted his moustache and with the help of glue made it reach his eyeball. I have used this image from the cover of a book. I have divided my canvas diagonally for the first time and used a lot of black-brown hues. Since Dali's canvases used to be very light and Rembrandt's dark, I kept the upper part for Dali and the lower for Rembrandt," says Sanjay.
Initially the painter was hesitant to bring his own elements into these works. "But as I grew confident of their style of work, I blended some of my style into them too," says a visibly happy painter.
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