SHYAMAL MUKHERJEE

Born in 1963 Kolkata Shyamal Mukherjee is a leading contemporary artist from Bengal and is best known for his spectacular paintings in reverse style, in acrylic sheets in oil and acrylic. He did his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Santiniketan and Masters from Rabindra Bharati University.

The paintings are a beautiful reflection of his various interactions with people during his travel and his study of Bengali Folk culture. In his words, ‘Most of my inspiration comes from observing people’.

The subjects of his depiction are figures in extreme details and brightly dressed in colourful hues of bright red, gold, blue, orange, and green. These characters are mostly rounded and full bodied with a piercing look in their eyes transfixing its observer to the inherent stories that the paintings are intended to convey. Drawn in a typical caricature style, he paints his figures in pairs or in large groups to show an interconnectedness and similarity in behavioural form amongst people than thought otherwise. The characters are depicted as performers of a kind as symbolic to the performances that we all give in our daily existence.

Yet the underlying tone of all his paintings is joy and happiness that he wishes to spread all around him through his paintings. An interested observer will be filled with a sense of joy when he will come face to face with these silent, yet, very vibrant and mesmerising characters narrating the dynamics of some relationship at play through his most tedious form of reverse style of painting.

Though an artist himself he is also an avid collector of rural arts and crafts.  He has to his credit more than 51 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions in India and abroad till date. His work is much loved and greatly appreciated and has found many a home of many collectors’ globally.

He completed his bachelors of fine arts from Santiniketan and went on to do his masters of fine arts from Rabindravarati University. In his 42 long years of painting career where he has done many a series consisting of many characters, right from painting the movie stars to gods and musicians, to regular people, the most popular of his character has become the “Babu Bibi” series that he started from 1997 and which continues to be the theme of his great body of work and the popular pair of his iconic style to its viewers all across the world.

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