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BHASKAR CHITRAKAR lives in Kalighat and actively practices the patachitra art form in its traditional medium of natural ground colours on paper. When introduced to Frida Kahlo, ...
BHASKAR CHITRAKAR lives in Kalighat and actively practices the patachitra art form in its traditional medium of natural ground colours on paper. When introduced to Frida Kahlo, he resonated with her love of colour, animals and flowers, the symbolism in her works, her respect for her ancestry, her clothes, her gaze. And the “Kali-Kahlo” series was born. Bhaskar has used powder pigments on paper for his self-portraits of Frida in Kalighat. Flowing Mexican clothes are replaced by Indian ethnic wear, marigolds take the place of exotic flowers, the jewellery is local as is the cat on her shoulder. What remains unchanged is the essence of the woman, her steadfast gaze, her untrimmed unibrow, her mask-like face appropriating her viewer. Bhaskar’s patachitras have always used symbols, his crows, cats, roses and spotted dogs representing a life of leisure lived by the ‘babus’ of the British era. Kahlo’s symbols are painful articulations of her life and her female identity - small pins, surgical instruments, thorns, flowing hair, hummingbirds and wild monkeys. She is both warrior and martyr. Bhaskar respects her courage, and presents her as a strong woman of Bengal