Bikram Sen and Sugato Dhar share much in common — they are in their late fifties, hail from West Bengal and have worked as creative heads with some of the country’s top advertising firms. Now, both men have marked their debuts on the ‘professional’ art circuit with Mindscape, a recently concluded joint exhibition.
Held at l’Alliance Francaise earlier this week, the exhibition showcased limited edition photographic and digital art works by Sen and Dhar, respectively. Sen, a self-taught “photo artist” who took to the art 10 years back, captures themes like history, birth and memory in his photographs. A monument is framed by a hole in a crumbling wall in Whispering Relics, for example, and New Born celebrates the miracle of creation in an inhospitable environment.
Explaining his choice of subjects, Sen says, “For me, art is the criteria [of capturing a particular shot]. Whatever frame I can observe as or convert to a piece of art, that’s what I capture.”
Dhar uses vibrant colours and bold strokes to digitally ‘paint’ themes such as reincarnation, Indian landscapes and nirvana. “I’ve been trying my hand at digital art for 14 years but never exhibited…People still take some time to digest the concept of digital art, but the future is digital painting,” he says.
Asked about his relatively late entry into this field, Sen replies stoically, “When I do photography, I think I’m 20 year old! I call photography a late child. I think I should have started this hobby long back, but some things don’t come to you earlier in life.” “That fear of what people will say is gone… Now we want devote all our time to art,” adds Dhar.