Basuki grew up in a small town in West Bengal known for its terracotta temples. The earthy feel, textures and patterns found in these temples are mirrored in his rough-hewn and highly textured murals-on-canvas.
His paintings mix together hardboard, paper pulp and thick acrylic paint on canvas to create a remarkable surface that is far from flat. As he explains, “In the corridors of those temples, I was always touching the paintings and murals on the walls, when I was crying or happy… so whenever I touch my own paintings now, all my childhood emotion comes back. When I am painting, texture is my first priority. It’s a very physical experience.”
The Bengali artist, who now lives and works in Tumkur, transforms the traditional decorative motifs of Indian temple architecture into dynamic and abstract shapes and forms. Some of his work references the circular shape of the ‘wheel’ at the famous Sun Temple in Konark. Other abstract works draw inspiration from nature, including ocean waves, the sun and the harsh landscape of West Bengal.
Basuki Das Gupta received a BFA in Painting and an MFA in Mural Painting from the prestigious Santiniketan-Visva Bharati, a leading art school founded by Rabindranath Tagore. He is a visiting faculty member at the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar.