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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ananta Mandal. Interview

Ananta Mandal is a very young and talanted Indian artists. He is only 28 but he had plenty of solo exhibitions and publications in Indian media.

You represent a new generation of Indian art. What are your roots?
I belong to a remote town named Chakdaha located in West Bengal origin. It started from here , when once I got introduced myself to a book named “THE GREAT ARTISTS” a precise knowledge of various era of master artists and their phenomenal series of paintings, This book erupted my thoughts within and I then realized that by using colors and brush we can create an other world. It was like believing something that we can create and the feeling was quite magical. I accepted this as a challenge from that day onwards, and the journey is still on. Gradually, I enrolled myself in BVA (Bachelors of Visual Arts) in Government College of Art and Craft and I would always be grateful for the achievements I have received from my college. It helped me follow the turning page of my life.

Ananta Mandal. From Mumbai studio. 22x30 cm, 2010

You work equally in watercolor media, acrylic and oil. What is the significance of watercolor for you? 
Yes, I work equally in all media. But I like watercolor the most, I think it’s quite feasible to be in use, besides that its also time consuming and ease to use and it helps me to focus on the art which also leads to form of meditation.

Do you have someone who would be the highest standard in watercolor? 
Including of all mediums my all time favorite is John Singer Sargent, I like his all types of works. Every time I see the Sergent’s work I feel that painting is an easy task. And also my favorites are Joseph Zibukvick, Guan Weixing, John Pike and Indian master Paresh Maity and Sanjay Bhattacharyya etc.

Ananta Mandal. Smoking Morning, 40x30, 2008

Is Fine Art appreciated in India? 
Definitely, India’s fine arts world is huge and is enormously blooming day by day.

Can you say that there is an interest growing towards the watercolor media in India?
Yes, Indians have a great affinity towards watercolor. There are world class Indian water color artists who are passionately involved in their job for years now. Also the artists from other medium choose their simultaneous media as of water color.

Ananta Mandal. Dhal Lake. 22x30. 2008

Do you consider your style and vision are more Western than Indian? 
Well I think Art is subjective phenomenon again. My style of work and techniques applied are western , but I am trying to form a very ethnic and Indo theme within my work.

What is more related with you: an Indian artist spreading the message of Indian Art in the world or an international artist attempted to bring western values to the Indian Art?
I like this question, but I don’t believe in something like Indian art or western art .I think they are just themes named to portray the matter. I am an Indian artist and as an artist I always think that everybody should see my work and identify me for my work in whole. I combine both western and Indian aspects in work but that is to complete my art or to help me perform of what I really want to deliver.

Ananta Mandal. Churchgate, 22x30, 2011

Do you consider you brought something new to the Indian Art?
I really don’t know. I do my work with 100’/, dedication and believe in quality then the mass and I wish by gods grace everyone will know me as a hardworking artists always.

Your painting is almost monochromatic. It is rather interesting for India. Do you avoid the bright colors or it is an artistic method?
I think it’s not right. I agree some of my paintings are monochromatic, when I do early morning paintings a feel of monochromatic light is experienced as monochromatic color is ever where color. as like my Railway or Durga festival series are very colorful.

Ananta Mandal. Dream Fantasy V, 24x36, 2009

Do you paint on a spot or merely from reference photos?
Whenever I choose any spot first doing some small paintings by feeling the mood and atmosphere, if cant feel the mood and atmosphere from my inner mind I cannot make a creative painting. I believe that while painting one should feel the atmosphere, respectively whenever I move to a painting spot, I come to my studio and I do detailing of my painting so I require photographs some times
I think painting on a spot or using photos are individual choices. I personally believe that whatever you feel from the atmosphere and inner mind can be developed through a painting strongly. I do visit my respective painting spots, perceive the matter, analyze the subject and get the feel perhaps I require some photographs also that lead to the detailing of the subject manner.

Ananta Mandal. Bandra Station, 22x30

Is your work planned or you following your impulses?
Both, It depends on paintings and its subject. Some painting’s need a plan while some are spontaneous . Besides, whatever I work for is organized and pre planned. It happens many a times when may be I just follow my impulse. I DON’T I LEVY ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR MY PAINTINGS

What is most important for you when you work in watercolor media? 
DRAWING. I think drawing is the mother of any painting, then mood and environment, the control of color / technique and your identity. But when a viewer approaches your painting your identity becomes more important, inner feeling are vital and its pioneer of all paintings, if u cant feel u cant paint’

Ananta Mandal

Can you tell about your paper, brushes and paint choice?
Well, most of time I use two type of papers for my watercolor one Arches rough or another Fabriano cold press or rough all are 300gsm or 640gsm.
And I always use Indian local handmade brushes, A man from Kolkata makes brushes, which are hand made and are of awesome quality. Winsor and Newton color is my first preference and also use Schmincke and M. Graham & Co.’s color.

Ananta Mandal. Beyond the Window, 55x35, 2007

How the audience affects you during master-classes?
Audience is like a live feedback for me. When I take workshops and seminars and share my experience and views with them and they give an alarming response to the piece of my art. It boosts my conscious and motivates me to get better out of me in future.

Do you consider yourself a public person?
Well, I am a rational being striving to reach and set my work. I really don’t know if I am a public person but I will always want people to know me for my work end of the day.

How could you determine your message in Art?
Art for me is pure form of emotion. I always perform impressionistic and surrealistic way. I feel a moment or visualize and paint it so others can also sense the same affection through it.


  1. Great interview Konstantin Sterkhov!
    Ananta Mandal@ Really beautiful watercolors paintings, love the composition and the dreamy, reflective mood you have created with your brush.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for shaing these fantastic artists's works.
      I'm a big fun of you, Konstantin.

  2. Me encantan los paisajes urbanos, más aquellos que descozco. Ananta Mandal es todo un artista.

  3. Very informative interview for me as a self studying student of art. Lovely work of watercolors. I like the monochromes used. Could u be kind enough to tell where to get good supplies in Mumbai, I stay in Goregaon.

  4. Ananta Mandal has been recognized with top international and national honors for his painting. He is an expressive and imaginative painter. Most of his paintings are created in an impressionist manner and surrealist way in various mediums like watercolor, oil and acrylic. He is currently hosting a solo exhibition at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, in Mumbai.