If Paul’s work was an essay, every sentence would end with an exclamation mark.
Niladri Paul’s distinctive style seems to live in the most bustling and vibrant crossroads of human life. He paints with as much reckless abandon as careful consideration to create a body of work that celebrates the contemporary realities of urban Indian life. And he does this while never letting go of the footing that is uniquely Indian.
Paul is inspired by the performing arts and that is the earliest conclusion to come to. His paintings have an open influence of the exaggerated, the theatrical and the limelight soaked lifestyle of a performing artist. You can trace the pathos, the glory, the struggle and the glamour through his body of work.
But what distinguishes his work is his ability to let of structure and hold on to the emotion of the moment. A self confessed admirer of the American painter Jackson Pollock, you can see remnants of a more fluid and expressive painting style in Paul’s love for expert randomness. His acrylic on canvas titled Transcendence is a great example of this. Although a departure from subjects derived from the performing arts, this painting arrests a multitude of emotions. The juxtaposition of colour and shapes with and almost wild and unrestrained painterly strokes, Transcendence is like looking at the human condition in technicolor.
Paul manages to place stories from ancient Indian folklore in a hyper modern context with his ability to maneuver around the intersections created by him. Sudama is a great example of a painting that lives bang in the middle of a road leading up from ancient India and a road leading to modern India with a brilliant neon by lanes of contemporary art and multi tiered highways of contemporary influence.
Anandatman lives at a confluence of figurative and abstract art which Paul arrives at from a very evolved perspective. The painting is busy with the interplay of figures, signs, symbols, typeface and textures. It almost creates a blueprint of every day life in a world which is so busy with messages and buzzing with the urgent pace of communication.
Paul’s work is best summarized as an ongoing exploration of the complexity of today. The beauty of the complexity is that it has elements for everyone to relate to.
Solo and Group Shows
NILADRI PAUL graduated from the Govt. College of Arts and Craft, Calcutta, 1986