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Shyamal Mukherjee

Shyamal Mukherjee is an artist who has spent his entire life in Calcutta. He spent his college years in Santiniketan, first completing his BFA in 1987, and then his MFA in 1989 from the Rabindra Bharati University. In Mukherjee`s work, we see the Bengal School strong figurative tradition being carried ahead and interpreted in a very contemporary idiom. Mukherjee says he loves to travel alone to new places on buses and trains since, "Most of my inspiration comes from observing people." It`s not surprising that every figure in his body of works has a separate and interesting story to tell. Most of the people Mukherjee paints are performers of some type, putting on an act for everyone else - something all of us do everyday of our lives. Mukherjee`s figures are dressed in the bright, almost gaudy orange, red and green costumes that street performers wear, but their eyes are gazing and drawn, their faces almost cartoon like and their fingers podgy, making the irony and pathos that surrounds them extremely evident. The artist also likes to focus on the fact that each individual has a great deal in common with every other one. This is why he paints people in pairs or larger groups, highlighting that though they are physically separate and unlike each other, there is no real difference between their characters and behaviours. Mukherjee`s favourite medium is reverse oil or acrylic painting on transparent acrylic sheets.