"I am charting my life through my work"

Written by Garima Pant | Updated: Oct 26 2008, 06:38am hrs
To obtain the broken texture of my paintings, I work on a table staying bent for hours. It gives me immense pain but that is nothing in comparison to the pleasure I derive from my works.

Thats Sakti Burman for you. The veteran artist, who is in Delhi with his latest collection, Enraptured Gaze. This is the artists solo show in the city after a gap of three years. Originally the exhibition was slated to be held in New York in September this year. The space for the exhibition wasnt ready so I decided to bring my works to India, especially Delhi, says Burman.

One recent addition to his creations in his current works is depiction of violence. I normally dont prefer to show violent imagery in my works. But seeing the current global scenario I have added images depicting violence for the first time, says Burman.

Even though Burman has lived in Paris for over five decades, he has never been out of touch with the Indian heritage. I went to Paris to study and could not come back to my roots often, says Burman. In the works of his early years in Paris one may spot the influence of some of Europes modern masters. But it did not last for long. When you are young, you are bound to get awed and inspired by the big names in your field and that is what happened to me when I was in Paris. I wanted to work like those big names. India was less present in my mind at that time, he further adds. His early influences were mainly European, Marc Chagall and Pierre Bonnard among them. After graduating from Paris, Burman returned to India with his wife to renew his acquaintance with the tradition of art and culture of his native land. He recalls how his journey made him see India in a new light. I got inspired by Indian miniatures, sculptures and with art on the walls of homes in India, says Burman. One can see a growing presence of the Indian theme in his works, especially in his current exhibition.

Burman hardly gives a title to his works. However, the one common component in his works is the amalgamation of myth and reality. In one of my works I have painted Krishna and a man playing the flute. I love this opposition of myth and reality, says the artist. His works give a feeling of hope. He adds that he is charting the journey of his life through his works.

Calling himself a painter who is always in doubt with his work, Burman has brought together a collection where realism surfaces in his paintings, but he returns to the dream world time and again.

Sakti Burman over the years

Pursuing his craft for over five decades, the artist needs no introduction apart from the sight of his dreamy, fable like paintings. Described as an Alchemist of Dreams, Burman emerged with his distinct style of continuous narration with recurring motifs in the early 1960s. His works take the viewer into a magical world

* Born in Calcutta, in 1936, Burman graduated from the Calcutta College of Art and Crafts in 1956. He studied at L Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris

* Had his first exhibition in Paris when he still was still training as a painter

* Over the years, he has had exhibitions in London, Iran, Moscow, Leningrad, Belfast and Yokohama

* Burman continues to live and work in Paris