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Wonderstrokes on canvas

- 11-yr-old’s solo show leaves veterans impressed

Feb. 6: In this 11-year-old’s paintings and sketches, are shades of brilliance and maturity not many children his age can deliver. A self-taught artist, Vishrut Bezbarua is already earning praise from stalwarts and commoners alike at the ongoing solo art exhibition at the Gallery Artists’ Guild.

Meticulously shaded works of art in pencil portraits of Lakshminath Bezbarua, Bhupen Hazarika and Mamoni Raisom Goswami and Sachin Tendulkar a series of trees depicting a theme in water colours and oil pastels, sketches of dinosaurs, horses, birds, a karateka, Spiderman and his idol, Hanuman, belie the fact that they are creations of an artist without formal training.

“No, I am yet to go to an art school. Art began at home. Pencil is my favourite medium and I am particular about shading in my sketches. Of the 23 exhibits, there are five portraits sketched by pencils. Most of them were done last month while there are works since 2007 as well,” Vishrut, a Class V student of Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Silpukhuri, said.

What’s unique about him is that while he draws, there’s music Bistirno Dupare, Moi eti jajabor in the background. “I am a Bhupen Hazarika fan and listening to his songs increases my focus,” he said.

Vishrut, of course, had found guidance in his father, Debasish Bezbaruah, an art critic. “He was hardly three when we took note of his interest in art. But since I had guided him whenever he needed any advice, the need for any formal training wasn’t quite there. Then again, he is too mature for an 11-year-old. But I will soon enrol him at Gauhati Artists’ Guild as he has to learn art in an ambience away from home,” Bezbaruah said.

But the Bezbaruahs took the decision to hold the exhibition spontaneously in mid-January. “But of course, a Class VIII student of his school, Prasurjya Baruah, was his inspiration. It was only after Magh Bihu that we decided to stage the exhibition. Most of the paintings and sketches put up at the show were done thereafter. The one of Mamoni baideo was sketched a day before the show. The framing, too, was done at the eleventh hour,” Bezbaruah said.

The Hanuman sketches of Vishrut, however, couldn’t be preserved. “He idolises Hanuman and had sketched umpteen pictures of his hero. But unfortunately, we couldn’t preserve most of them. But he has been a fan of a number of superheroes, albeit his loyalties have changed over time,” Vishrut’s father, who is planning to stage a show jointly with his son in future. “He is inquisitive and it’s his knack of sticking to a sketch till he feels it’s perfect, is when I discovered his potential,” he said.

The maturity in Vishrut’s thinking and sense of proportion in his sketches is admirable.

“From the maturity he has exhibited in his drawings and sketches, Vishrut, from what I observed after inaugurating the exhibition yesterday, will certainly go a long way. He has the talent and imagination. However, the kid has to move on from copy work to creative art, which of course, he will, with time,” said artist Tapan Bordoloi, who is also the principal of the art school run by Gauhati Artists’ Guild at Chandmari.

Echoing Bordoloi, were artists Aminul Haque and Ratan Kumar Ray Hajong. “Vishrut’s strengths lie in his clear conception of copy work as well as that of light and shadow. I was impressed by the Bhupen Hazarika sketch. He has a very good sense of proportion as well. I’m sure that with formal training, he will only improve,” Haque, who is also the Guild’s president, said.

“He has the talent and once he enrols into an art school, the grey areas, if at all there are, will be plugged,” said Hajong.


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