Artist Profile

Prokash Karmakar is considered a revolutionary in the sense that he doesn't exhibit in art galleries. All through his artistic career he has always exhibited on street corners because he did not want his paintings to be imprisoned within four walls. Most of his earlier artworks capture remembrances from the past - some of them are very personal, and some are from the darkest moments of human history. More recently he has painted landscapes, depicting lush tropical vegetation, hills and valleys, seascapes and mangroves in their wild diversity – which have made him even more popular with art galleries.

Influenced by the works of Picasso and the classic impressionists, Karmakar’s work reflects the degenerating society and the confusion that prevails in India today. His father was renowned artists of his time. Unfortunately, all of his father’s paintings were destroyed in the Hindu Muslim riots in the 1940s, which also ruined his family. By 1949, both his parents had passed away, forcing him to abandon his studies. He joined army for two years and then quit to work graphic design manager for a medical firm in Kolkata. Virtually penniless and desperate for a break, in 1956, he held a street exhibition, the first in the city, hanging his works along a corner. In 1957, Karmakar participated in the national art exhibition held in New Delhi. Here, he received an award for his watercolor. By then, he has also begun holding more street exhibitions, which catapulted him into the limelight.

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