Kolkata, Sep 13 (IANS) How do we generally react after watching a film? We discuss it with friends or scribble a film review. But Kurchi Dasgupta portrays in a different way her reactions to the films she watches and loves.
This 34-year-old writer-cum-painter's interpretations of 16 of the world's greatest films through her oil paintings are on their way to the MP Birla Millennium Art Gallery in London this month.
'This is the first time that a painter has attempted to portray the way she interprets a film. My paintings are not about a single scene or character from a film, but the entire film put on a single frame,' Dasgupta told IANS here.
She has deliberately picked up 16 of the cinematic versions of world classics including Vittorio De Sica's 'Bicycle Thieves', Charlie Chaplin's 'Monsieur Verdoux', Federico Fellini's 'La Strada', Sergei Eisenstein's 'Ivan The Terrible', Satyajit Ray's 'Pather Panchali' and Ritwik Ghatak's 'Komal Gandhar'.
'I shifted my base from Kolkata to Kathmandu in 2005. There I could lay my hands on the cinematic versions of all the world classics, though they were pirated versions. At that time I realised that we are gradually forgetting real cinema and getting more inclined to remakes,' Dasgupta said.
'Hence I decided to explore a new way of interacting with these films. For example, instead of going the typical way, I interpreted the film 'La Strada' as a saga of black and red - sorrow and violence in the life of the protagonist Gelsomina.'
Dasgupta said the colour red is a must in all her paintings.
'For me red only stands for violence and consistent suffering that is inevitable in life. There is underlying violence in Ray's soulful 'Pather Panchali' too - the psychological violence on women by society.'
Commenting on her first solo art exhibition at London, Dasgupta said the organisers were overwhelmed by the theme of her paintings.
'The organisers of this exhibition - Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan officials - wanted me to do a solo exhibition for them. They said there is a novelty in my theme and they could locate certain elements in the paintings that can promote cross-border cultures.'
Though a painter herself, Dasgupta said that keeping the commercial factor in mind, today's artists are not ready to take risks and paint.
'Today's Indian artists have skills, but they lack the intellect to make optimum use of their talent. They paint primarily for money and then for the sake of creativity. My agenda is very clear - let painting bloom on its own.
'When I sit with colours and a blank canvas, I hardly have any concrete idea of the end result. The first few strokes are planned, but then I let my painting take whatever direction it wants to. And, trust me, after the painting is completed I get what I was looking for.'
Dasgupta added that it took her one year to complete the series of 16 paintings that will go to the Sep 18-25 exhibition.
'After this exhibition, I would like to continue with this series and also interpret the Indian epic Mahabharata through an oil painting,' Dasgupta said.