Calcutta black and white (83-89)

The same aura is reinforced in the empty rooftops of a city where the ubiquitous crows perch on parapets and wires. The artist avers that in Calcutta one cannot ignore the crow. Intricately etched lines of these birds with unruffled feathers and pugnacious expressions contain layers of signifiers. In the trajectory of his life as an artist activist, Shuvaprasanna relationship with the metropolis he inhabited was intimate and deep. As a young man, the city appealed to his aesthetic senses, with its sudden vistas of green amidst the dull stretches of endless streets and buildings. From the tram car, as it trundled past the Maidan, he glimpsed the monument towering overhead and the multitudes of people below, a giant patchwork of colours and activities, then, in the distance, he spied the regal fade of the Grand Hotel, standing just a little apart, reluctant almost to be part of the hustle bustle around.

The dramatis personae of Shuvaprasanna painterly domain have been these edifices, these concrete structures that form landmarks of Calcutta: Victoria Memorial, Paanch Mathaar Mor, statues of Bidyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy. And when the imagery is deftly woven into the subtext, they present a point of view that is uniquely personal in context to the narrator and the narrative.