Inspired by street musicians and musical instruments of our country, artist Milon Mukherjee is displaying a series of oil paintings in the city. Based on the theme of Music Makers, the paintings depict men and women playing instruments like the dholak, dafli, flute, cymbals and even a pot.
Born in Kolkata, Mukherjee studied at the Government College of Art and Craft in and the Calcutta University before shifting base to Mumbai. Till date, he has held 34 solo exhibitions, including one in Paris in 1972.
Using mainly strong, vibrant colours, Mukherjee describes his style of painting as free style. “I don’t follow any style. My method is less abstract and more realistic. I mainly employ oil on canvas, though some paintings comprise of acrylic or mixed medium,” he explains.
While some of Mukherjee’s paintings have been created over a span of 18 years, a dozen of his works have been produced over the past two years.
“My works represent the music makers of our country. They reflect a festive spirit. Looking at the paintings, you can imagine songs like Kolaveri di… or Dil ka haal sune dilwaala... being played,” he muses.
Ask the city based artist what inspired him to create this series and he says, “Once, during the 1993 riots, I was standing on the outer platform at Bandra. Everybody was looking at each other with suspicion. Then, a few boys and girls from the slums in the east got on to the platform and started playing instruments."
"People surrounded them while they sang to the tunes of a dufli, a harmonium and another stringed instrument. Their music rejuvenated the entire crowd, as though waking them up from deep sleep. The incident left behind a strong impression and I decided to work on the theme of street musicians.”
January 9-15 at Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda. January 16-21 at Cymroza Art Gallery, Breach Candy.