Born and brought up in Bishnupur, West Bengal, Basuki Dasgupta grew up admiring the corridors of 17th century terracotta temples. When he was 19 years old, he went to Shantiniketan Visva Bharti to pursue is love and passion of art. Under the guidance of renowned and critical painter, Jogen Chowdhury, Basuki graduated in 1992.
Basuki found his muse in Goddess Durga, who he compares with the common Indian woman. Unlike the ten armed, dusky Goddess of Puranas with flaming tongue, Basuki’s subjects toil in fields, tend their child, look after their families, wash clothes, buy groceries and take bath in the afternoon, because they are busy. He believes that these common women are the true goddesses, who finish the tasks of ten arms, with mere two arms.
He uses earth tones of greens, yellows, and blues in the background of his paintings. However, the bright red bindis and lips are the main highlights of his subjects. Basuki’s subjects carry a strong resemblance with the puppets, often seen in Bengali folk art. His paintings are mostly semi-abstract and are heavily textured. He uses terracotta to create these textures that range between geometrical shapes, vines of leaves or flowers, abstract shapes, and sometimes ornaments of his subjects. He then uses different hues of a single color or two complimenting colors on the entire canvas. He then adds black color and darker tones to create depth and shadows in his art and uses white or grey to highlight a particular area. Finally, the bright red tones add a focal point to his paintings. Apart from Durga, Basuki also creates abstract paintings and paintings of animals.
Apart from painting Basuki teaches young children and is a consultant at the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, Gujrat. He also likes woodwork and loves to make furniture and puppets. Among many other things, he has also created large murals. Basuki has displayed his works in numerous group and solo shows.
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