Aditya Basak has a fascination for fantasies that fringe on the real world. He strives to give form to the harsh realities of life and the strange thoughts that lurk in the corners of the subconscious, and both give his paintings a disturbing, haunting quality.

Basak’s journey as an artist began with his graduation in 1977 from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. His paintings probe the psyche of man, plumbing the unknown depths within all of us. Like the great surrealists of the past, his work goes beyond the visible, beyond reason, to give his canvases a haunting quality. Fantasies executed in color, his paintings have a strong grounding in reality responsible for their disturbing effect.

Basak resorts to illusions while representing the figurative elements in his work. Anatomical contouring and the management of light and shade give his works a look of mystery and unreality. Not one to indulge in a lavish use of color, the muted and subdued hues of Basak’s paintings only add to the powerful imagery.

To explain the inexplicable, both in terms of the world within and beyond the self, is the aim of most of Basak’s paintings. “Through the medium of the fantastic, I probe the dark alleyways of human consciousness bringing to light the depths of the unconscious,” he says. One of his favorite artistic tools is the incorporation of onlookers whose gaze he follows into the beyond. Objects that are aids to vision, such as the telescope, also find a place in his art, conveying the need for a medium of viewing.

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