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Meet Our Cover Artist, Prarthito Banerjee

We've all and seen the incredible cover for Paul & Roger's latest single, 'In My Prison', now, get to know the artist responsible for painting it.  

Meet Prarthito Banerjee.

Born in the city of Kolkata, tucked away in the east of India, Prarthito Banerjee was exposed to music from a very early age by his mother, an artist in her own right.  Staying in Kolkata for the better part of his life, Prarthito graduated from college with honors in History in 2013, but didn’t want to follow up in academics, believing that there must be something “grander out there”. 

We wanted to know more about Prarthito’s art, his inspirations, his themes…and did he deliver! 

“The themes in my art are only as varied as my life.  In today's globalized world, inspiration comes often from the most obscure corners.  But I think the recurrent thematic approach is to try touch the reality that’s under the skin of the world we live in. I’ve always tried to find the doorway into the 'other' space through my art. Looking back it has always been a window of escape for me. My form/technique reflects my lifestyle, as does most artists, I dare say. I focus more on honesty in my paintings than aesthetics; since I’m self-taught I have (thankfully), managed to sidestep the monotony of realism that most art students are pushed into.  Where they learn to break form only after mastering realism, my journey was to find my own form and then timidly reach out towards a more conventional approach to art.

There are only two things that I want my art to do. Some would pull the viewer into the world that I had found on the canvas, others would push them out of their sensibilities, disturb them to a point where they manage to step out of their everyday life and look at it from a new perspective. Absurdism and violent strokes juxtaposed by pleasant colors often jars the viewer into a new understanding of the theme.  I think the first thing people notice about my art is the dynamic color schemes.  I love psychedelia and I bleed yellow, but I always focused more on the content than the form, for every canvas is a story that is more than the sum of the colors and the lines.  I think my art is always changing, as its inextricably intertwined with my life.  Every day brings new visions, new ideas, a new zeal to experiment.  And I know that the more I paint, the better I will get at expressing this exactly as I would want to.

I was very caught up with post-impressionist painters from an early age.  Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rousseau, Munch - they all captured my fancy. Later, as I grew older, I found Marc Chagall and Paul Klee who completely re oriented me. But if I were to play a muse to one artist I would let Gustav Klimt dress me in his golden glow.”

Prarthito funds his craft by doubling up as a tattoo artist and freelance writer from time to time.  “I guess the biggest difficulty is to stay afloat financially doing just what I want to do; I come from a city full of writers, poets and painters - the cultural capital of India. While people very readily would appreciate art, very few would actually pay for it. I keep telling myself that it’s a struggle that everyone has to go through, it’s the fire to temper my steel but there are days when the grind just gets to you I guess.”

 

Prarthito  also works on commissioned pieces, as he did with our single cover for ‘In My Prison’.  If you are interested in commissioning a piece of art, you may contact Prarthito via his gmail or the direct Facebook link below:

 

Gmail:  prarthito23@gmail.com

Facebook: Prarthito Banerjee