interpretation of cinema - through a painting
By Sreya Basu
Indo-Asian News Service
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 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
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
"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
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
Though a painter herself, Dasgupta said that keeping the commercial
factor in mind, today's artists are not ready to take risks
"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.
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