Working on commission is not bad but it does allow the artists to really show up what they are gaining for and most of the times clients’ requirements overshadow the curiosity and creativity of the artist. Name a person who is very efficient in fulfilling another person’s dream than his? There is no one in the history of mankind that can fulfill a dream of a person without fulfilling his own. An empty pot cannot fill another empty one. Understanding painting, working on the art, and deriving the perfect gateway to the mainstream is not all Jamini had achieved. There is something more important and has more value than the other artist which he was getting by targeting the middle-class life people.
History has witnessed that the middle class is what middle class ever was to every course of time remain. There is something in them which keeps them levitating in the middle of the society which is indeed both fascinating and sad. But there is not a single art that can be made with a very happy mind. You will need to be broken and in pain to create a masterpiece, the stress upon the artist made them diamond among the coals.
When you focus your work on the middle class; you get the best results. Either it is in terms of subjects or in terms of motivation. You will lack nothing in any case. Getting a good subject really matters because without it you will have to deal with unwanted and motionless subjects which will drain your creativity in the long run.
Jamini Roy’s Lady in the Pink Saree (1950) is indeed a good work regarding the situation as well as psychology. It is a well-known truth that the pink color is associated with womanhood and maybe the artist was also assuming it to make a good impression on society. In the middle class, you have to consider a lot of factors before proceeding in any areas of expertise but there is something that always sticks in your mind, and that pink color in the painting a lady in the pink saree is indeed an indirect sign of the presence of womanhood in a woman in every condition.
Lady in pink saree was painted after Indian independence. Considering the time of painting, it can be assumed that Jamini Roy was trying to show women empowerment through it. Well, it is a well-known fact that the long walk of freedom was empty without the participation of women. In the Indian independence, women were equally responsible for the success as much as men.
Synchronizing with the art of future generation
In the modern context, the term is definitely the same as of the time of Jamini Roy, assuming the pattern before a century is quite proof of his genius. It is just one painting and if consider different paintings of artist, we get an amalgam of Indian culture in his works. Choosing a good subject and researching the best of it makes the subject appealing as well as more valuable than the market standard. Seeing beyond time is an art and fine artists need to know this.
A picture painted before 60 years of now is being able to convey a lot of situations of the present time. This is really futuristic in its own way. The artist’s expression synchronizing with the universe and delivers a masterpiece that is able to pass through the past, present, and future. If we put a light on his art then there is something more powerful than the expression and emotions- it is his good hold over the middle-class society which was providing him an upper hand over the other contemporary artists.
The works were a representation of society is maligned from the past hundreds of years and his process of detoxing these all customs will not only change the effect of art but also the fact that India can grab the art market like ancient times. It is a lesson that should be learned with time and experience that a custom and art that is connected with the audience cannot be ignored on the world stage.
Vikash Kalra is a self-taught artist & writer based in New Delhi whose work has been exhibited across India and is held in several private and corporate collections.