Santanu Debnath is an emerging artist hailing from a small village in West Bengal. A recent graduate of the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata, he works meticulously, showing the patience of a miniaturist. His works, revealing many shades of the everyday life of rural Bengal, include, besides the human beings, rustic nature and animals.
His recent series of watercolours reflect on the ways in which the village had changed during the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. Drawing from real life, memories, and imaginations, Debnath’s watercolours create intimate narratives around familiar themes – such as childhood, family life, farming or grazing cattle in a vast landscape. There are pauses and lingering moments of stillness that are characteristics of Santanu’s watercolours, where anxiety and patience nestle together. His other works are also characterized by his preference for detailing and an insider’s perception of rural life. Rooted in naturalism, the empiricism of his paintings is overlayered with his poetic vision, personal memory, desires and sense of humour.