Sudip Hazra is an aspiring artist. Coming from a humble background he decided to devote his time and energy to art. His works are part of the show ‘Textures’ at the exhibition “Desi Canvas”. Firstly over phone and then in person, he told his tale of becoming an artist and how he sees the world of art.
Ashish: What is the story behind you becoming an artist?
Sudip Hazra: It was a random decision for me to enter into the art field. I was in 9th standard when I saw a painting in an art competition at Howrah. I felt that I needed a teacher to understand art. Then I went for a tuition, which I found is not my thing. I belong to a very far-fetched area. I didn’t even know that art colleges existed. I went to visit a college in Kolkata. There I decided to study at that college only. I got admission in that college after trying for four years. I liked almost everything there from graphics to terracotta to paintings. Different materials attracted me. I was so excited that I ended up spending six years in that college experimenting with all this. My childhood and upbringing started coming to my thought process and made me create my work around nature. I combined my experiences from childhood into my paintings. It did not take me long to understanding the color and patterns because of those years I have lived close to farms, villages and rural communities.
Ashish: What inspires you to put your energy into art?
Sudip Hazra: My upbringing and not having access to many things in life during my childhood, and then reaching out to bigger cities to find out that there does exist a parallel world, I realized that I should put my creativity to produce more and more works.
Ashish: What materials do you use in your paintings?
Sudip Hazra: Leather is my main material. Leather is not a simple material. It has a life of its own. I stitch, dry, assemble canvas and leather. Before this, I have worked with wood, watercolors, oils, and acrylics. Leather is not just a material, it is a pictorial space.
Ashish: Who is/are your favorite artist(s)? And why?
Sudip Hazra: It is a difficult question. Among the contemporary artists, Atul Dodiya is my favorite. Ganesh Pyne has also inspired me. Western artist Egon Schiele’s life and works I find very inspiring.
Ashish: As an artist what do you think needs to be done in order to reach out to more people?
Sudip Hazra: First of all, as an Indian art practitioner, I would say that art education should be part of the curriculum from the beginning. We cannot just reach out to people by creating our works.
Ashish: Is art limited to some classes in India? if so, what are the reasons behind it?
Sudip Hazra: People who understand art have not put in much effort in making art accessible to people. We need more efforts in this. A few individuals might have tried but that is limited. There are certainly financial factors behind it but then again I myself am unable to understand this. Let’s hope it changes in time. Business angle is good but that should not dominate.
Ashish: How do you see the economics of art in India?
Sudip Hazra: I am very new in the field of art, so I actually have not got enough time to understand all of it.