A novice art admirer that I am, happened to visit the exhibition of the life and works of Ramkinkar Baij – an artist from the Santiniketan school which has enriched India with numerous artists, ideologies and means of expression. With elucidation on the techniques by another artist whom I escorted I was able to appreciate the experience holistically – both about the techniques, and with some of my own experience the intent of works.
While the life of Ramkinkar Baij itself is an exemplary manifestation of commitment to one’s passion, how this passion can be transformed into pieces of art that would capture the spirit of humanity and make future generations revel at these passionate artistic feats is an experience one must never miss – visit the gallery.
Kinkarda, as he was known amongst his peers and students, had a theme for most of his work – people. Most of the works of Kinkarda had the struggles of people captured on the canvas, in his sketches and the vibrant sculptures he created. Drowning in the nosie of globalised economy, where people are no longer given importance, but their only their possessions and material worth is, it is reconciling with the actual reality to see the works of Kinkarda.
He was Left leaning and apart from capturing the struggles and lives of the working peasants, carpenters, chai-walas and other segement of the class, he also was keen on capturing the inspiration that other creators were bestowing on the society, like Rabindra Nath Tagore (he sculpted Tagore), This notion of celebrating the human inspiration and capturing people’s plight are the undercurrent, and recuurent themes of all his works.
Austere, committed and creative, Kinkarda’s life is an inspiration to everyone, not only for artists. Every painting of his, every sculpture of his have immortalised the life and ideals of the genius that he was. Is it not what each one of us must be attempting to do – follow our passion, focus on our goals and impact the world.
PS: National Gallery of Arts in Bangalore is one blissful place hidden from the chaos of the urban life, right in the heart of the city – Don’t miss a chance to visit.