My incredibly talented friend Muktiram
I did my last two years of high school (eleventh and twelfth grade) in a residential school. I got a chance to meet Mukti there. He was in the same hostel (dorm) as I was. I remember him as the quiet and kind person around. Always very helpful.
I had lost touch with him for a very long time till I chanced upon one of his work of art. In my house, I am not the one who understands art – yet, even to me, his work of art that I saw was outstanding. (If any one of you want, you can check out his Facebook page “Muktiram Maiti Indian Artist). I have talked to him a few times over the lat few years once I got hold of his phone number (and needless to say, his birthday).
Yesterday, I got the opportunity to catch up with him in his office in West Bengal Bangla Academy. Surrounded by piles of paperwork stacked up on a couple of tables and the traditional Kolkata office style almirahs along the wall, I sat with him to get to know his life journey.
Drawing and painting was his passion. Is his passion. Will be his passion. He has given up everything in life to pursue his one love in life. Mukti explained to me how his teachers in Ramakrishna Mission encouraged him to pursue art and how he came under the influence of some of the most well known contemporary artists in Bengal. And then branched off on his own and created his unique style. (You will see the effect of the bright colors and then the bold lines – that he has created for himself). Mixed media is his choice of medium of expression.
My wife is an artist too. But I had to hear his story to understand how we have access to so many resources that Mukti does not. For us, to buy a canvas means a simple trip to the store – hopefully with a 50% off coupon. Mukti has to “cure” the raw canvas he buys for over four to five years to season them for painting.
I saw some of his paintings. Again, I am no expert. But this guy would have reached great heights if he was in a country like where I live.
For all that, he did not care all that. He said he does not want fame or money. He just wants to fulfill what he was born for.
We came out and had a cup of coffee from a nearby shop. I had a spirited discussion with him on why I thought exposure is important. For any profession. Particularly artists.
My sense of art is limited to “drawing” my salary. But a few years back, I had decided to build a website for Sharmila to display her gallery of paintings. Which is where she refers all the galleries to today.
I am so inspired by Mukti’s art, I am thinking of opening up a website gallery for him. What do you think?
(P.S. I have attached a couple of snippets from his paintings. But you can see in his Facebook page as referred above)