There is something refreshing in the childlike ebullience of Gurgaon-based painter Krishnendu Sen's playful acrylic paintings. They unabashedly rejoice in seasonal blooms, bright Indian landscapes, moonlit vistas and Durga-devis depicted in a disarmingly naive palette. A native of Delhi for three generations, soft-spoken 'Krish'—as he is known—comes from a cultural and creative background. After studying Chemistry at Delhi University, and then Management from IIT Delhi and IIM Kolkata, Krish trained for the Indian Army at the Indian Military Academy. He is currently Vice-President of Business Development at a reputed telecom company in Gurgaon.
But Krish has always been an artist at heart. "Ever since I can remember I have been in love with colours. My paintings are like a walk down my childhood, when I was taught how to paint by a well-known artist who also happened to be my grand-uncle -- Ram Krishna Bose. My earliest memories are of his studio in Saraswati Vihar (near Karol Bagh), where I carefully watched him create wonderful abstract works. Bose's art was in a quintessential Bengal School style, replete with the lyricism of water colour landscapes and dreamy forms. Subsequently, the art of his son, Sapan Bose, inspired me as well."
Krish's mother studied classical music under Ustad Vilayat Khan, and his late father was an Advertising professional.
Krish considers Amrita Shergil as one of his highest artistic inspirations; and among western artists, the French Jean Lefarge, who painted largely in acrylics. "My Sapan kaka's paintings were more abstract and modern, and in a completely different style from his reputed father. Perhaps I have absorbed both of these strands—Bengali Romanticism and urban modernism—in my own paintings. I started learning art at Delhi Public School's department of Fine and Commercial Art as a young boy, and I continued painting while at Delhi University – where I exhibited my art through the 1980s. I enjoyed this phase very much. Then, in the corporate world I would win the 'best desk' prize, as my work-stations were always brightly decorated with paintings and aesthetic touches. Deeply missing the aesthetic muse, I returned to the canvas a few years ago."
Krish recently displayed his charming paintings of Durga and Ganesha at 'Off The Shelf', a new Gurgaon lifestyle store on Sohna Road. He has also shown his art at Renge Art exhibitions and at the DLF Golf Club. His free, vivid splashes of acrylic joie-de-vivre attracted my interest from a distance; and upon closer inspection I was pleased to discover in Krish's lively paintings the promise of a genuine Romantic genre. His Flower Studies were deeply redolent with both French and Bengali
Krish's seasonal depictions of India's flaming panoramas, with direct and unpretentious titles such as Garden, Verdant, Spring, Seasons, Autumn, Dusk, Moonlit, Orchids, Candles, Rains, Nainital At Dusk, and Village, combine strains of the literal, the abstract and the decorative with childlike sensitivity. The artist bears a penchant for flaming Indian tones, such as sunlight-yellow and hibiscus-red, highlighted with luminous, grassy greens. The lack of pretence in his nature-worshipping imagery makes it convey a simple spiritualism -- that of a true Pantheistic nature-lover; one who wishes to pay artistic obeisance to Prakriti. Hence, the flame of Durga-Shakti is also one of his leitmotifs.
This Bengali artist is at his best while depicting flowers in an Indian mode, that is subtly reminiscent of the French Impressionists as well as 19th-C Expressionism. The senior artist Niren Sengupta, erstwhile Head of Delhi College of Art, agreed with my appraisal of Krish's Flower Paintings, at the most recent group show at Renge Art.
However, there can be no short cut to great art; it is not an easy hobby, and must contain the intensity of devotion. Achieving the subtlety of a Shergil, or the unbridled romantic flamboyance of a Gopal Ghosh, takes a lifetime!
It needs to be stated that Krish's Landscapes require more reflection and detail. His Horses and figurative works are also immature and raw in their current treatment and manner. As a painter of latent potential, Krish needs to devote much more time, study and attention to textural details, in order to evolve more mature figurative expressions. For his brushstrokes to convey genuine pathos, poetry, depth and the patina of seriousness, Krish would need to choose – to make Art his profession.