Interview with Sukanta Dasgupta
Exploring Papier Colle - An Interview with Sukanta Dasgupta
Sukanta Dasgupta creates capturing papier colles unique in style and beauty.
He has been working with with papier colles for over ten years and has achieved the effects achievable by oil paint simply by pasting torn papers. Despite the plasticity of the medium, he has explicitly chosen Papiers Colles as his medium of expression.
His past exhibitions have been accepted and praised by the artist community, media and most importantly by public in general. Read our interview with Sukanta to learn more about this inspiration and work process.
SG: Where do you get your inspiration from? Can you talk about your ideas and how they evolve?
SD: I have always been fascinated by the randomness and chaos all around – whether we consider the Universe as a whole or limit ourselves to what we can see and hear at an instance – the lack of stillness or orderliness is very much a part of our lives. It is akin to Entropy – a measure of lack of order as defined in Thermodynamics, a branch of science. But beyond the apparent lack of order I am equally fascinated by the underlying orderliness which at times screams for attention. I get inspired by such ‘uncovering’ as I call it – simple and pristine beauty waiting patiently underneath the chaos !! To an extent I can define my work as interpretation of something many have come across.
SG: How would you describe your work?
SD: My works draws inspiration from mythological stories, religious beliefs, my education and my experiences – that practically covers everything I have come across in life. In my chosen medium of Paper Collie I try to bring a balance between the overall composition and the hues that lend it color while trying to retain the simplicity of the idea. My collages are free from restrictions of media or technique, rather they are a result of combination of media- I try to compose a balanced picture which is pleasing to the eye and reflects a little bit of me!
Very simply put, my works are more like a puzzle half solved and the other half is for the viewer to solve or unsolved.
SG: What art movements do you identify your practice with, and are there any texts you have read that have been inspirational to your practice?
SD: I have depended more on my instincts rather than practices or movements. I do not fall into any particular segment. I think I have an inclination towards the impressionists and colourists. Of the little I have read a book – “Lust for Life” has been the single most important text. I read this book when I was 13 or 14 and that changed my course and I decided to become an artist an follow my heart.
SG: What are you working on at the moment?
SD: At the moment I am trying to understand and depict the concept of “ Wabi Sabi” , a Japanese concept which more or less translates into “ Beauty in imperfection”. I have chosen the ordinary water lily to depict this concept. However there is this desire always to work without a concept and this is what keeps me inspired. At times, I begin a Papiers Colles with a vague or may be without any specific subject in mind but only a specific colour combination. Somewhere during the process of evolution of the collage I compose the picture and thereafter add carefully selected and cut pieces to accentuate my conceived image with a hint of realism. This method, which I may call ‘extempore decomposition’, is challenging and prone to failure, which I have experienced in good measure. Yet to me this is the most satisfying and rewarding one. I return back to this style again and again, ready to fail.
SG: Is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work or does it change with each series?
SD: To make my Papiers Colles I have banked on ideas which were either results of pure imagination or a mythological story or just a moment captured in camera. At other times, a master artist's creation could have been my inspiration. Eventually, I have realized these inspirations have simply been driven by the desire to produce oil painting like effects with a plastic medium. I have not imposed upon myself many restrictions regarding media or technique, allowing myself the use of any possible means or mixture of media to arrive at a final, well composed, balanced picture, pleasing to the mind and reflecting a little bit of me.
SG: Which artists do you admire?
SD: There are so many artists that I have gained from and truly admire. Some of them are famous and some not so famous. But of all the artists Vincent Van Gogh will always be my choice. Henri Loutrec, Jackson Pollock, Nicoli Fechin, Antonio Mancini, Amrita Sher Gill, Madhav Satwalekar and Derek Gores are a few artists I have been always inspired.
SG: Are you a part of any artists groups or organisations that have been beneficial (to your work in general or career as an artist)?
SD: I am not part of any artist group or organization. Although I do participate in some group shows but I prefer Solo exhibitions. Till date I have held ten solo exhibitions of my works.
SG: If you could own one work of art what would it be?
SD:That is a very difficult question and very hypothetical one. Yet, since it is only a wish – If I could I would have one painting of Nicolai Fechin, any one ( but Portrait of Varya adoratskya would be the choice). If I get a little more greedy the a work by Van Gogh will end the wish list.
SG: What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
SD: I do get this urge to uncover underlying simple ideas reflecting orderliness from varied sources and put them on canvas for everyone to experience. This not only puts me at ease and helps me in retaining connectivity with my surroundings, it also inspires me to find newer and newer ideas which can be simplified. I am happy to share my work with public at large and hope that people enjoy my work. It would greatly satisfy me if my art could generate a little introspection, a bit of inquisitiveness and appreciation of creativity.