The exhibition titled ‘Ae Mohabbat’ reanimates epic love stories on canvas

From Heer-Ranjha to Mirza-Sahiba and Parineeta, the tales of rapturous passion are reanimated with new dimensions on artist Pradiptaa Chakraborty’s canvas at Delhi’s Alturaash Gallery.

The ongoing exhibition includes preparatory drawings by artist Pradiptaa Chakraborty showcasing some of the immortal love stories in all their forms: from short-lived but intense romances to longstanding creative collaborations, families, friends, peers, and whatnot.

According to Chakraborty, his artworks beget from the experiences of his childhood, of the many street dramas he saw in West Bengal which determined his practice along with the works of Bengal’s greatest writers and poets. For him, a work of art brings together the fabric of socio-cultural customs and visits both the past and the present.

The identity of the lovers has been immortalized with the poignant portraits depicting the Melancholy Kiss of Heer Ranjha captures an intimate moment between the lovers with metaphorical references — from a hoofed human (deer symbol of freedom in Buddhism) and a lion (symbol of pride) — Mirza-Sahiba’s Immortal Love Story to create the new world has the protagonists seated on a horse; here, we see, angels with bows and arrows perched with flowers.

Recreating scenes from various romantic literature such as Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1914 Bengali novel Parineeta and other epics, Chakraborty has incorporated the golden deer Maricha from the Ramayana in the depiction,  in another work ‘Parineeta, a complete woman. is portraied with the coviction of presenting the complete submission of a woman towards her home and family. The Delhi-based artist has drawn from mythology and tradition and has previously exhibited the world over, from London to Australia.

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