The show brings out an array of 16 large photographs and a series of composite studies in a small format that celebrates his travels all over India. “I am not a great photographer”, says Bhattacharya the famed artist known for his watercolours and oils. “I pick up the camera when I am tired of the world and I go in search of peace.” Indeed, the artist’s mind is not the one that settles in one place but keeps on exploring to find the next source of inspiration. The inspiration is not a specific destination or subject, necessarily. It is the stir of emotions processed by the travels which would find expression through his art.
He is quite known for his quirkiness in experimenting with a technique which he carries out with the sheer brilliance of a genius artist. In 1999, he had paid an entire tribute to the films of Satyajit Ray. Pritish Nandy (filmmaker) would refuse to believe that these paintings were done by him because he had changed his technique here for this series, Sanjay Bhattacharyya fondly recounts.
Sanjay Bhattacharyya’s work is a visual repertoire of various themes flitting across travel soirees to urban tales. He would equally paint a decrepit wall ecstatically and make it reverberate with awe as he would paint a saga of the street streaming with people and city lights. His photographs eclectically capture the sweeping landscapes buzzing with scenic grace: from mighty mountains covered in snow to an evening sky reflecting its poetic melancholy on the river enveloped in an enthralling chiaroscuro; highlighting the mundane of utensils in such artistic nuance as if the Indian post-modernist lens was never better-articulated, a tiny Krishna statue captured in a meticulous foreplay of light and shadow, etc. How soulfully the fragments of life and exploration have been framed through poetic gaze!
Sanjay Bhattacharya was born in Kolkata, 1958. In 1982, he received his Diploma in Art from Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. After graduation, Bhattacharya joined the Clarion Ad agency as an illustrator. Later, he joined Hindustan Thomson Associates where he had the freedom to freelance and created a series of watercolours for his first exhibition, based on architecture and still life.
Sanjay has exhibited in a number of shows nationally and internationally. Sanjay is a proud recipient of many awards. In 1981,1982,1983 and 1985, he won awards from National Exhibitions, Calcutta. In 1983 and 1988 he participated in All India Watercolour Exhibitions at AIFACS and won awards. In 1988-1989 Sanjay was the recipient of an award at Sahitya Kala Parishad Annual Exhibition. In 1988, he won an award at Second International Asian- European Art Biennale in Ankara, Turkey.
Rick Riordan’s famous quote “You might as well ask an artist to explain his art, or ask a poet to explain his poem. It defeats the purpose. The meaning is only clear through the search.” This stands true for the phenomenal artist Sanjay Bhattacharya who has created a stir in the Indian Art scene with his vision and his artistic genius.