Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blending of decorative design, folk and mythology

Jayasri Burman has carved a niche for herself with her unique form, style and artistic sensitivity inspired by the Indian folk element. Born in Kolkata in 1960, she grasped nuances of painting at Kala Bhavan in Shantiniketan (1977-79), and later at Visual College of Art, Kolkata (1979-80). To start with, she was keen to become a sculptor instead of painter. She even learnt sculpture at the college, but later focused on paintings.

Her meticulousness and precise detailing can be attributed to her training in printmaking. She studied gouache and graphic arts during 1979-83. After marriage, she moved to Paris. There she happened to work with, Monsieur Ceizerzi, a printmaking master. In between, she also took part in a graphic art workshop with Paul Lingren.

Jayasri Burman’s reinterpreting of sacred texts placed in contemporary contexts is perhaps a streak she inherits from her uncle Sakti Burman, renowned for his imagery of Indian myths and fables. Her cousin Maya Burman’s works also carry a strong element of fantasy. Among the painters she most admires are Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso and Van Gogh, who exudes a feeling of timelessness, as the artist reveals, something that she carries with her always.

Her other favorites are Botticelli, Chagall and Jogen Chowdhury. According to her, artist and husband Paresh Maity has taught her to enjoy life, and has helped her come out of a phase of intense struggle. She began painting with a new zest after suffering personal tragedies. The positive thoughts translated in bright colors and serene feel in her works.

For the past few years, Jayasri Burman has been regularly coming to ‘the epicenter of Indian traditions’ in Varanasi that has inspired the religious themes of many of her recent works. In one of her paintings she depicted the myth of Mayuri, albeit the female character in it is very much real and exists in every modern woman.

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