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The name “kalighat pata” is applied to a class of paintings and drawings on paper produced by a group of artists called ‘patuas’ in the neighbourhood of the famous Kali Temple ...
The name “kalighat pata” is applied to a class of paintings and drawings on paper produced by a group of artists called ‘patuas’ in the neighbourhood of the famous Kali Temple in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Colonial rule had destroyed the equilibrium of Bengal village life. Wandering scroll painters from the districts of Murshidabad, Birbhum, Hoogly, etc settled down near the Kalighat temple to paint their depictions of gods and goddesses as well as scenes from contemporary life often with a dose of wry humour at the incoherence of urban life of the Calcutta babus.
Bhaskar Chitrakar, an artist belonging to a family of patuas, is reviving this style in his contemporary Kalighats.
These works are part of his “Kali-Kahlo” series, inspired by Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter who mostly painted self-portraits inspired by Mexican popular culture. She used a simple child-like folk-art style to explore questions of identity, gender, class, and race. Her paintings often mixed realism with fantasy. Here, Bhaskar has created a series of self-portraits based on an imaginary visit by Kahlo to Kalighat.