Prabuddha Dasgupta- a mistake not to have heard or seen his works previously.
Now here is my perception not my judgement. If a photographer could be acclaimed for his works that pleases the crowd, the subject and himself, all at once, then he seems to tick all the boxes. Why would I say that ? When I searched for his famous works, I could find it in two fields- ‘Fashion’ and ‘fine art’. The first deals with utility and design, while the later with self satisfaction and perception of the beholder, he seems to be the force of attraction between these two opposite poles. Discussing about his fashion journey- started with the Blue Lagoon jeans campaign and took off since then. Not just fame but controversies also took hike in his works, naming a few like KamaSutra condoms and Tuff shoes advertisements.
Keeping his fashion work aside, I would like to analyse his fine art journey. ‘Women’, ‘Ladakh’ and ‘Edge of faith’, are his praised art books. Nudity- not appreciated in our dictionary of culture and heritage, well how about twenty years ago? considered more of a ‘SIN’. The book-‘Women’ consists of black and white nudes rather visual canvases, of urban Indian women. Rather than seeing it as an anomaly maybe changing your perspective and observing it as a piece of art would make it more of an experience. Right from the stretch marks on the thighs to the bony structure protruding through the fragile skin would reveal the aesthetic taste of the photographer. ‘Ladakh’ is yet another book portraying the picturesque landscapes and habitat of Ladakh. Personally seeing a few in warmer tones would have made a difference, however black and white being his forte and his comfortable means of communication, it is justifiable when it comes to his personal works.
‘Edge of Faith’-A series which explores the Catholic community of Goa and on the contrary also the multicultural environment that has come into existence. As metaphoric as the name sounds, so are the pictures.
One might just call it a bunch of hazy black and white photographs, but there seems to be a much intense reason on why each subject is being photographed. If you are a fan of grandeur and colours, then his works shouldn’t be in your follow list. The article talks about how each picture is a projection of anguish and joy of the subject, but however as a viewer I get a sense of melancholy lingering around them majorly. Maybe you just need to widen your art senses to find the hidden joy, like the ray of light in one of his pictures- which is a room that is furnished yet looks empty or the pendant of Jesus wrapped around the worn out hands like an effort to soothe the frayed nerves.
Lets talk about what is being conveyed, well should there be a message? Isn’t that the whole point? -perceive that you see, don’t let conclusions of another interrupt in your art of viewing.
The pictures somehow seem to connect with us by tingling our memories, rather than portraying just the protagonist’s and the artist himself. Black and white being called a cliche style, well let’s not judge in terms of colours, and take a moment to look beyond, rather search for emotions which seem to be all over the compositions.The emptiness in the room, the cracks on the wall, the faint smile on the faces, the pictures hanging on the wall, the strappy sandals on the feet, I could go on how each element fits right in, each with a worn off tale.
Story telling something that all of us like and enjoy, even more mesmerising when it happens in silence through these pictures Not necessary you need to be a adorer of poems and philosophy to enjoy them,bring out your perspective, connect it with a platform that you can relate to. Swiping down the screen to look at pictures of
the same faces that you see everyday has become more of an addiction, but visually spending some time on these strangers from this book would end with the feeling of somehow knowing them internally and connecting with them, even though miles apart. Prabuddha Dasgupta- A silent story teller to each viewer, for each longing for a flash of memories in silence. If you are in a rush to rate and like pictures, then think before you start with this series, but if you have the patience to relish each detail, then enjoy the experience!