I am Mrinal Dey. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Art And Master of Fine Arts in painting (with 1st class) from Indira Kala Sangeet University, Khairagarh, Chhattisgarh, India on 2005, 2007. Now I am working as a full time Artist in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India.
For a milieu that is besotted with the idea of worshipping thin as aesthetic epitome. My figures are bound to stand out as garrulously loud, out-of-shape and inflated beyond proportion. Look closely. No, they don’t appear thinner; for that is not what the artist wishes you to see. His figures probe deeper into individual and mass mental-scapes to lie bare the effects of consumerism at a level that is all pervasive.
The fixation with all that glitters and the blinkered pursuit of all that the neighbour has has set the fulcrum of modern existence on blingy show-ism. This has revolutionised the very culture of consumption, leading very often, to a murky bleakness; an inevitable fallout of selfish, inflated egos and life-patterns. Existences have gone from communal to intensely solitary. My figures symbolise this acute sense of loneliness, lost in a maze of self-inflicted consumerism.
My figures – as they appear in paintings or in sculptures – are, all, without an exception, depicted in a manner that is eerily grotesque and yet identifiably human. Slits for eyes, bulbous noses, thick-set lips and jaws, a baldness that places the pointedness of the ears in sharp focus and a neck – or the very pronounced lack of it – attaching the large rotund face to a flabby, disproportionate body, highlight my disturbance with the overt emphasis on the usual trappings of post-modern habitation. The colours he uses are all solid enough to carefully avoid any merging with the textured backgrounds I create. This solidity enhances the boldness of my figure endowing them with the intended quality of both awe and repulsion.
There is at the same time, a surrealist overtone to my works, as dreams seem to flit in and out of the minds of my central figures, even as they transfix the viewers with their cold hard stares. This is why newsprints, brown-paper packing boxes and bar-codes recur time and again, in an attempt, to merge the reality of a culture that is made or marred through media hype and publicity, with the concomitant decay of its innate innocence that finds an outlet only through collective nostalgia; a nostalgia that has been increasingly tarnished by the grey of existential predicaments. The sense of self-contentment stemming purely out of a self-centred complacence seeps through, through the smiles pasted on his figures; a smile that more than serves the purpose it was painstakingly designed for – to instill a sense of disturbance that can somehow jolt us out of an opium-ised slumber.