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Painting Kali and Shiva

Artist Rajib Deyashi is inspired by spiritual ideology and tantra practices. His latest series of paintings is based on Shiva and Shakti. Without using the defined images of Kali and Shiva, Rajib denotes Kali through the red hibiscus (joba) and Shiva through bel leaves. The background is always black denoting an unknown darkness or eternity.

At present, the young painter is busy preparing this series for a solo exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts. “I am presently working on spiritual ideas. Bel leaves signify purity while red flowers denote creation of life. My next exhibition will be based on these ideas of Shiva and Kali,” said Rajib.

More about rajib

Since he passed out of the College of Visual Arts in Garia affiliated to Khairagarh University, Rajib has gone through a metamorphosis, painting different types of subjects at various stages of his life. “When I started painting professionally, I concentrated on childhood subjects like paper boats, kites, paper wheels and so on. Many of those paintings sold well at exhibitions and were also taken as book covers,” said Rajib.

After passing out of college in 2004 with a first class first degree in Fine Arts, Rajib immediately got a chance to exhibit his works at an exhibition in Paris. “A curator from France had come to Calcutta to take paintings for an exhibition. He also took seven of mine, all of which were sold there,” said Rajib.

Taking up painting as a profession was already in his mind since he joined the art college. “I did not want to do a job because I knew it would be difficult for me to concentrate on both things together. So I decided to take up painting professionally,” he said. Inspired mainly by the Bengal School of Art, Rajib admires the works of Nandalal Bose and Abanindranath Tagore. Among the present day artists belonging to that genre, he likes the works of Ramananda Bandopadhyay. The shift in his subject from childhood to spirituality started taking place a few years back when Rajib started working on subjects like Durga puja and other festivals. One of his popular works was the one depicting a lighted panchapradeep with several hands taking its heat.

Rajib has participated in group exhibitions across India, specially in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and his paintings have gone to many personal collections in London and California. Among the many awards and certificates that Rajib has won so far, he cherishes the Silver Brush award in 2008 from The Eye Within, a organisation that works with artists. “This award encouraged me a lot to continue working,” said Rajib.

Apart from painting, Rajib runs an art school from his home where he teaches nearly 250 students. He also teaches at the Indian Society of Oriental Art. “I have struggled a lot to get to this place. It was a challenge for me to take up painting as a profession because no one in my family was an artist before me. However, my family has always supported me,” said Rajib.