Manali’s Natural Harmony Finds Expression In Artist Suman Gupta Works

Manali: Internationally acclaimed painter Suman Gupta is in Manali these days to paint natural vibrant colours of the land and its people. Speaking to Hill Post, the master artist said that every turn in Manali brings up a new picture frame.

Gupta’s works are reflective and creatively reinvent a visual vocabulary which further stimulates the viewer’s skills of imagination for positive action. His latest series of paintings successfully invokes art’s emotive nature, its capacity to make people feel the pathos and waste of conflict, and help instil a desire and commitment to end conflict and work for peace.

Flight of the winter crows, 18 x 21 inches , Tempera on gessoed wood panel

Gupta, 52, is a resident of Jammu and has received Italy’s ‘Florence Award’ for his exhibit ‘Song of the Soul’. He has also won the National Lalit Kala Akademi Award for his works. At Raj Bhawan, Jammu 14 of his paintings are on display.

Gupta, who is a law graduate from University of Jammu, says that he was interested in art since childhood. Besides, he has even performed as a rhythm guitarist and a singer for the band ‘The Hijackers’.

The switch from singing to painting came in 1988 when he came across an article by Andrew Wyeth, one of the best known US artists of the 20th century whose Time Magazine cover photo and write up inspired him to paint. Suman took to egg tempera —- a mode of painting —- and started his journey.

The Nocturnal singer , 36 x 48 inches, Acrylic on canvas

“In 1990, I displayed my first set of 24 exhibits at Jahangir Art Gallery which turned out to be a sell-out in three days, with Jaya Bachchan and Sunil Gavaskar being the first buyers,” he recalls.

Two of his recent painting are Flight of Winter Crows and the nocturnal singer. He said that in the Flight of Winter Crows he has portrayed that the harmony between nature and humans. Here a villager is shown resting before the mountain while the winter crows are flying in the background.

In The Nocturnal Singers is a rural scene where after the hard day’s work, village folks are seen playing the drum, late into the night around the bonfire outside the room while the half moon is shown above the forest line shining to their melodies.

Suman Gupta

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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