The Story of Indian Art #27: Devajyoti Ray

A look at the life and work of Devajyoti Ray, who has often been heralded as the most promising artist of the new generation is likely to emerge as the best of his time.

An IPS officer, for whom painting has been a passion since childhood, Devajyoti’s works have been described as pseudoreal art in several art journals and magazines. His first solo was held in Kolkata in 2005, which was followed by many more in Mumbai’s Jehangir Gallery and at Delhi’s India Habitat Centre. His first international solo show was at Cinnamon Art House, Dubai in 2010.

Devajyoti Ray

Renowned artist, Devajyoti Ray

Devajyoti Ray born in 1974 is today one of the youngest masters of Indian Art. In fact he has often been heralded as the most promising artist of the new generation and in days to come he is likely to emerge as the best of his time.

Like Sunil Das and BR Panesar, Ray too had joined initially as a government officer and then by force of his talent entered the art world independently. Like BR Panesar, Ray’s works are independent of the influence of the regular art school styles. And in fact so independent is his style that critics have called his art a new genre.

Good Bye in Acrylic on Canvas 2006 by Devajyoti Ray

Good Bye in Acrylic on Canvas 2006 by Devajyoti Ray

The word Pseudorealism  which is often attached to Ray’s works is in fact a term that was associated with films but Ray had drafted it according to his own needs to create a new style of visual imagery where he uses offbeat colours and shapes to create a pseudo-balance. It is thus a style that is rooted in the new Indian reality and in a way marks a new phase in Art of post-liberalization India.

Medium and Techniques of Work

Ray paints predominantly in acrylic/ Since Ray had no formal training in art, his techniques are largely self-developed and this adds to his uniqueness. Ray uses large areas of flat colours, offbeat shapes and yet at the end the paintings look realistic and comprehendible. Ray has also worked in water colours and mixed media and has produced many new forms of experimental art. His collages, which had a special feature of looking like scraps of haphazard papers but forming clear realistic scenes when seen from a distance was also a novelty of the young artist. Yet Ray is predominantly known as an acrylic and oil artist.

Broken Autumn Leaf

Broken Autumn Leaf by Devajyoti Ray

Major Themes

Ray paints scenes of everyday life with a touch of subtle irony. His paintings do not make any statement and in fact Ray scoffs at artists who makes statements. Ray’s works are for viewers to see and enjoy and then ponder over the hidden irony.

Click here for a more detailed and intimate look at Devajyoti Ray’s work. 

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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