That picture you see above is not of a painting. It’s hard to believe at first glance, but the longer you look and pay attention to the details, you soon notice the numerous little pieces of paper than have been intricately and precisely organised to create this incredible work of art. Pune-based artist Sukanta Dasgupta spends days carefully planning and executing each piece of his work in a style called papier collé.
This is far from a simple cut-and-paste collage. It’s a step-by-step process that Dasgupta explains in an interview with The Indian Express. It all starts with “a thought of an image which is materialised into a sketch by the artist. Once the sketch is perfected, the artist collects bits and pieces of paper and glues them onto the sketch, just like a painter adds paint to a sketch.”
He explains that each piece of paper is cut according to its colour, texture, reflectivity, style of printing and many such aspects that go into its collection.
Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture has never been more apt than Dasgupta’s work. Saying papier collé requires patience and determination would be an understatement. Dasgupta spends hours trolling through newspapers and magazines looking for the right paper to tear – he does it with his hands rather than a scissor. “I enjoy creating these pieces where the onlooker also plays a part in forming the image,” he writes on his website, and you truly are a participant in the understanding of each piece you see. In the shadows and textures Dasgupta creates in his brushstroke-like paper work the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Having previously indulged in oil painting, his papier collé collages bare a striking resemblance to impressionist oil paintings. Dasgupta’s pieces give viewers the chance to find beauty in the chaos, if nothing it could be ordered chaos, of sorts. A split second of tranquil lily pads and flowers before the rest of the world catches up with you.
Follow and view more of his incredible work here.
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