Shuvaprasanna painting in controversy, Left complaints to Election Commission

Kolkata, Mar 23 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): The ruling Left in West Bengal has knocked on the Election Commission over a painting by a Kolkata-based artist depicting Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders beside the deathbed of party patriarch Jyoti Basu.

The giant canvas, by rabid anti-left artist Shuvaprasanna, captures the communist leader’s body, who died last year in January, wrapped in red, encircled by left leaders with their left arms missing.

Everyone in the painting is identifiable, from the deceased Basu to the mourning Prakash Karat and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the stalwarts of the CPI-M facing a tough assembly election in West Bengal.

The missing left arms of the leaders and the inverted party symbol on the wall are nothing abstract that only eggheads can comprehend. It deciphers for everyone the depleting strength of the communists in West Bengal, especially after the death of Basu, as seen by the painter.

Taking offense, the CPI-M has complained to the Election Commission that the painting has been painted with “malicious motive” by an artist who belongs to their opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) and is a beneficiary of the Rail Ministry.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who heads the Ministry at the Centre, is also seen in another painting by the artist leading a crowd à la the Pied Piper.

The paintings ahead of the state elections at an exhibition of Shuvaprasanna is controversial, brusque and punches shock values, but the creator says it has got nothing to do with the polls and is only using his freedom of expression.

The exhibition of Shuvaprasanna that opened in the CIMA Art Gallery here has some of the evolved and latest works of the painter, though ahead of elections all eyes are on the canvas painting the left in mourning over Basu’s body.

Painter Shuvaprasanna, known for his tirade against the Left in every public forum, says the timing of the exhibition was not planned with the April-May polls.

“The date for this exhibition is scheduled for one year. It is this time and moment that we need to realize and this is not concerned with election.  Neither it is done by keeping anything in mind,” he claimed speaking to IBNS.

“This is a way one perceives the contemporary time and situation,” argues Shuvaprasanna.
“I am conscious about time and society. And through my sensibility I try to portray my pictures,” he comments about his exhibition.

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