Swapan Das: The tale of an exceptional artist | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 02, 2018

Swapan Das: The tale of an exceptional artist

Renowned Indian artist Swapan Das is blessed with training in Oriental Art under the tutelage of master painter Mrinal Kanti Das. The latter was a professor at Visva-Bharati University and direct disciple of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Ramkinkar Baij, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Satyen Haldar and Jamini Roy. The artist came to the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka to conduct a nine-day (June 22-30) Wash Painting workshop this year, organised by Oriental Painting Study Group.

Swapan Das' art delineates diverse themes on Indian mythology, nature and contemporary life struggles of the sub-continent. The commendable artist is continually excelling in his artistic pursuit and carrying forward the rich legacy of Oriental Wash Painting Technique pioneered by Shilpacharya Abanindranath Tagore.

Excellent precision in using mellow colours like yellow, green, pink and blue coupled with the poetic compositions and magical light and shade has become  the hallmark of his paintings; be it nature, landscape, figurative or deity. His art evokes serenity, sanctity, a balanced blend of traditionalism and modernity, aesthetic aspects and mystic qualities of oriental painting. He depicts enlivening figures creating lyrical lines with properly keeping white spaces on canvas. The figures seem to come out from the surface of the paintings.

Art lovers get untainted joy in his creation of the golden glow of a winter morning, or a blissful twilight falling on landscapes and cityscapes. Art connoisseurs find ways of rumination seeing the meditative Buddha. He is a true artist, who portrays the soul of nature like a worshipper. His art takes an enthusiast into the realm of ecstasy and imagination.

He embellishes feminine grace on canvas with a distinctive way. “I try to make the figures express according to the themes I deal with. Bathing Beauty is one of my paintings, which depicts a bathing female with drenched cloth. The figure appears to be looking out the window of the bathroom as she thinks someone is stealthily observing her. Here, the puzzlement of the female and her hallowed beauty is important to me and not the mere nudity,” explains Swapan Das.

In recognition of his creativity, the artist has bagged many awards and honours including Abanindranath Tagore Award (twice), Gaganendranath Tagore Award, Pratima Devi Tagore Award, Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation Gold Medal, Gold Medal in First National Level Art Exhibition held in Delhi and First Position in the third National Level Art Competition held in Haryana. His artworks are in the collection of many private collectors, art museums and galleries of various countries around the world.     

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