Artist
Swarup Kumar Dandapat Kolkata, India

Artist Swarup Dandapat preserves the memory and atmosphere of places in time with his impressionist watercolor paintings. Growing up in a middle-class family in a small industrial town in India, Swarup took the unlikely path of pursuing art from a young age. With great support from his parents, he earned a BFA from Government College of Art & Craft in Kolkata, India, one of the country's preeminent art schools. After 15 years as a web designer, he transitioned to a full-time career as a professional artist. Out in the world, Swarup soaks in the atmosphere, makes several sketches and takes photos for his inspiration. Back in his studio, he looks at his references for days until scenes mix together, experiences get superimposed on each other and an image begins to form. "Watercolor empowers me to capture the charm of a city, its people and its architecture. I call my watercolor paintings the Gallery of Life, where the subject and the medium both breathe life." He enjoys listening to low key music, mostly instrumental, to create a calm and soothing environment for his creative process. When Swarup is not painting, he enjoys the creativity in cooking and baking as well as taking care of his plants, which he considers family. His work has been showcased at galleries in Dubai, New Delhi and Paris.

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    About The Artist

    Artist Swarup Dandapat preserves the memory and atmosphere of places in time with his impressionist watercolor paintings. Growing up in a middle-class family in a small industrial town in India, Swarup took the unlikely path of pursuing art from a young age. With great support from his parents, he earned a BFA from Government College of Art & Craft in Kolkata, India, one of the country's preeminent art schools. After 15 years as a web designer, he transitioned to a full-time career as a professional artist. Out in the world, Swarup soaks in the atmosphere, makes several sketches and takes photos for his inspiration. Back in his studio, he looks at his references for days until scenes mix together, experiences get superimposed on each other and an image begins to form. "Watercolor empowers me to capture the charm of a city, its people and its architecture. I call my watercolor paintings the Gallery of Life, where the subject and the medium both breathe life." He enjoys listening to low key music, mostly instrumental, to create a calm and soothing environment for his creative process. When Swarup is not painting, he enjoys the creativity in cooking and baking as well as taking care of his plants, which he considers family. His work has been showcased at galleries in Dubai, New Delhi and Paris.

    Artist Statement

    My art is an ongoing conversation between the world I live in and the world that lives within me. What I see in the world outside forms an impression in the world within my mind. The impression thus formed evokes certain feelings and memories, and elicits responses that eventually take shape in my artworks. I have always lived in cities, and I love painting them. The city with its labyrinth of main thoroughfares, serpentine lanes, by-lanes, and alleys makes me time and again fall in love with it. I never paint the cities exactly as they are, but the impression they leave in my mind. I also have a small but growing collection of landscapes and village life.

    My style ranges from impressionism to figurative art to realism, and often my life drawings mix figurative style with abstract expressionism. Watercolor empowers me to capture the charm of a city, its people, and its architecture. I call my watercolor paintings the Gallery of Life, where the subject and the medium both breathe life. My sketchbook is full of city life (pen and ink, watercolor) and human figure drawings (charcoal, pencil, watercolor). I call these the Gallery of Forms, with their accentuated contours, bold strokes, and subtle shades. They form the very base of my paintings.

    In 2015, I left a 15-year-long, successful communications design career to be a full-time, professional artist. Why did I do it? As an art school graduate, I had always felt the hunger pangs to create something on my own; something that would come straight from my heart, and not be regulated by industry norms, client requirement, or market trends. So, in 2015, I took the big leap. It took me time and a rigorous routine to claim back my artist self, but every bit of it was fulfilling to say the least. My journey as an artist continues to date, and it has now become a part of my existence. That is so because I am no more only on a journey to create fine art; I am also on a journey to rediscover myself.

    Artist Background

    Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1999

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