Harmony of Hues

By: Payel Mukherjee, payelm@india-today.com

Music is the not that flows in Niladri Paul’s vibrantly colourful canvases, which were on display at a two –day preview at art Indus.

As your walk around and look carefully at the canvases painted by Niladri Paul, you cannot help but recall a certain statement made by Cezanne, the great French post-impressionist painter. When colour is the richest, he had said, form is the fullest.

That is perhaps what makes Paul’s creations stand out. There’s a certain warmth that emanates from the paintings as each canvas takes on different hues, mixes them and builds them into a colourful symphony.

A Concert of Colours, the artist’s latest offering, seems to say it all. Paul has used colour as his real building medium and allowed it to flow like music. In the end, what I want is a positive energy through colours. I have been experimenting with the effect of colours on the mind for a long time. This remains a constant source of inspiration, says the 44-year-old painter, sitting relaxed on the lawn outside art Indus.

A graduate from the government college of arts and crafts, Kolkata, Paul’s canvas has always been filled with figures, sometimes a beggar, a house wife, a lonely man. This time, there are more men and women, all playing musical instruments, especially the flute.

Asked what inspired the change of theme from dance madras, which dominated his work at his last show, to music, the artist says’ music allows the colours to flow in a particular rhythm. There is a symphony. I always listen to music when I work. The rhythm dictates the strokes of my brush. Dance and music are both associated with movement. They are like channels for my colours to flow.

And what about the allusions to Ras Lila, the festival of colours played by Lord Krishna and his muse, who also find canvases dedicated to themselves. The festival of Ras Lila intrigues me. The mix of canvases called Radha and Krishna to make his point.

Ask him about being the darling of farmhouse owners and he shakes his head. I am a common man’s artist. Yes, they buy a lot of my work, but so do doctors and working women. I am the most reasonable artist around. I think most people are drawn to my paintings by the colours and the positive vibration they radiate, smiles Paul.

He has spent 12 years of his 16-year career on research to get the right colour effect. The research seems to be paying off as the red dots, placed on paintings that are sold, have certainly kept increasing.