Art As Tapestry: Tapas Basu

Artist by passion only. And that’s how Tapas Basu, 57, a familiar name among modern Indian artists and two times AIFACS awardee, would like to describe himself.

By day, he has a job in the Design department of the India Trade Promotion Organisation and by night and on weekends, he metamorphoses into only an artist. An artist who breathes positivity into his work and loves the curious interplay of colours.

He was 23 years old when he had his first professional exhibition, though he has been an artist since very young, and there has been no looking back ever since. He says, “When you have a passion for something, you don’t even remember how it all started. It’s organic. I began with sketches from a young age and moved onto painting,” says the MF Hussain and Tayyeb Mehta inspired painter, who says his talent was a double edged sword for his family. ” On one hand, my relatives praised my sketches and on the other, they would say that this boy does nothing else but only paint!”

But he never compromised on his first love and after a degree from the Indian College of Art in Calcutta, he began his professional sojourn. ” I moved from Calcutta to Delhi, when I was doing a lot of freelance work and had the thought that moving from one’s hometown is important for growth. After all, it’s just one life. Self growth over comfort, I would say,” he explains.

His favourite medium of work is watercolours and he says, its because it is a challenge to work in this media. “It’s the toughest! It is time bound and there is no time to rectify any mistakes you may have made while doing your artwork. Also I like the minimalism. All you have is white paper and colour. This medium is all about honesty and freshness. When you look at an artwork of watercolour, you feel it has just been created. There is no staleness.”

He also says he is old school in the sense that he doesn’t understand why people use the computer to try and create art. “I’m a design person in a company too. I know how it works. But that’s for posters and books,etc., A painting is different. It has life, feelings, moods. You need to create that with your bare hands and the brain. Nothing else.”

On an average, he can work for 12 hours continuously on an artwork, if he is motivated and interested enough. He says, like every creative person, he needs his subject to be interesting or he cannot paint. And not surprisingly, his favourite subjects to paint are the various facets of a woman and nature.

“Both are interesting and enduring topics. With women I notice that no matter how or where, they tend to have a much lesser degree of freedom than men. It’s like an existing state all over the world. That’s how I feel. And their quest for betterment and freedom is what I portray. I give them wings, both metaphorically and physically, in my artworks, to be able to fulfil their desires. As for nature, it’s various moods keep inspiring me,” says the artist who loves colour because he says he is positive even in the worst of times. Colour denotes hope, a better chance of getting things right.

Having created a treasure trove of many artworks in oil, charcoal and acrylic, along with watercolours, Basu’s work has been exhibited in all the top art galleries of the country, in almost all major cities. He has received many awards and citations and says his best work is yet to come. “We evolve, we grow. My paintings speak to me. Until I feel for my work and am completely involved in it, I cannot do justice to it. There are times when I struggle too and that’s when I stop painting. It needs to come from my heart.”

Tapas Basu’s next collection is about women dancers in various forms of expression and some more to do with the current lockdown crisis.

Watch this space for more.

You can contact Tapas Basu at this no 9910865848 to commission his artworks.


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