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Life sketches

"Call of the Real" offers glimpses of artists' lives


ONE NORMALLY sees works of art and rarely goes beyond them apart from looking at the artists' names or signatures. Over the years art connoisseurs and collectors get to know the artists and their lives. There are few books which provide life sketches of artists, particularly contemporary ones and their milieu. Call of the Real by Modhurima Sinha in association with Gallery Sanskriti (Kolkata and Delhi) and Mapin Publishing Ahmedabad fills the gap as far as artists from Bengal are concerned. About 11 artists (mostly senior and well-known) speak their lives through this book. The book and the art of these artists are being promoted in conjunction at the Taj group of Hotels in the country. So far it has been done in Kolkata and Delhi and after Hyderabad (Taj Krishna) the show is likely to travel to Mumbai, Sri Lanka and Dubai.

"One day while I was chatting to Ambica Beri (of Gallery Sanskriti) we realised that we could take the Bengal artists beyond the frontiers of the State. Ambica was excited with the idea and she pushed me to do it. Having been interested in art, an art journalist and organising art camps and shows, one got to know these artists. Ambica too had been closely working with them. So we teamed up but it was Ambica who was the driving force," says Modhurima, who is Public Relations Manager of Taj Bengal. "I had built up the rapport with them for over a decade and we are like friends now," chips in Ambica. Both of them spent many hours and days visiting the artists. "At times the family members had to be involved as some of the old artists were unwell," they add.

The book will help art lovers and others to get to know the artists well. Those who wish to buy the paintings can do so as well. In essence, the book offers a peek into the world of the artists. This is a documentation (of the coffee table kind) enlivened with good visuals, an integral part of the book. The duo aim to do more work of this kind. "Perhaps one on women artists or emerging artists of Bengal," they say excitedly.

R.R.

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