A larger-than-life show
Paresh Maity’s first memory of dabbling in art is mak ing things with clay as a seven-year-old in Tamluk. “No one in my family was associated with arts in any way, and I didn’t have art classes in school.But for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist,” says Maity, who is currently showcasing a collection of his works that date from 1976 (when he was barely 12) to 2016 at Gallery Sumukha in the city.
Titled `Beyond Horizons’, the exhibition, in Maity’s words, is “less of a retrospective and more a selected compilation of all my works over my 40-year journey”.Drawings on paper, water colors, oil on canvas and large bronze sculptures feature in this journey.
Maity’s school years saw him dabbling in paint with no guidance, “I’d buy water colours and brushes and paint by myself,” says Maity, whose unexplained love for the fine arts guided him to do a BFA at the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata, and an MFA from College of Art, Delhi. “I would travel 200km every day back and forth, from my home (in Tamluk) to Kolkata. I’d take the train at 6am, attend college and return home at midnight and I did it for seven years,” recalls Maity, whose life has taken a charmed turn over the years.
Maity is no longer that small town boy. A celebrated artist who has had his work shown across the globe, the 51-year-old Padma Shri awardee recently enjoyed a stint at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as an artist-in-residence along with his wife, artist Jayasri Burman My Update Web.
On what has changed and what has stayed the same in his career, Maity says, “The way I was, as a person. I am still the same 12-year-old boy, loyal to his roots but my art has changed, it has evolved with time owing to all my travels and experiences.”
A noticeable aspect of his work, whether painting or sculpture, is size. “The canvases have been getting larger than life because that is more fun. It is a bigger challenge to handle a big canvas or a 600kg sculpture. You tend to enjoy the experimenting that a big canvas allows,” signs off Maity .
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