An Inspiration

Image Credit: Jitendra Arora
Image Credit: Jitendra Arora

This work is in response to the colorful, multilayered, seemingly haphazard but deeply absorbing digital artwork of Sunandini Banerjee.

I notice that some of her work has been beautifully used for Seagull book covers. And, of course, it is difficult to overlook her artwork inside the school, where it decks the walls and evokes the ambiance of a nineteenth century French salon. It is so eye-catching that it is difficult to look away, and sometimes, even amidst a lecture, I realize, I am stupefied, gazing insanely at a piece on a nearby wall.

To my understanding, Sunandini’s art is quintessentially postmodern. Postmodern art encourages multiple interpretations instead of promulgating a singular meaning. The readability of elements (including type) is replaced by their sheer materiality, and thus semi-abstractness prevails. The constituent elements of the artwork could be borrowed from other art forms, such as photographs, illustrations etc. This facilitates intertextuality.

Keeping these aspects in mind, through this work, I am first paying a tribute to Sunandini’s postmodern art. The text in the callouts is borrowed from essays appreciating postmodern art. The boy and the car are motifs to represent the school exterior—typical Calcutta street. I see these aplenty on my way to and fro. The colours represent the phrase, ‘intoxicating palimpsest’ (also included in my piece). That’s how I look at what lies inside as well as outside of the school.

Second, by somewhat imitating her style, I am trying to imbibe her approach and to learn how to create such exquisitely crafted, carefully layered work, which is both rich and enriching.

I hope to improve my understanding and craft by making more of inspired works.

Jitendra Arora


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