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Meet Durba Sen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Durba Sen.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am a San Francisco-Bay area based contemporary artist, working with acrylics and oils.

My journey into the arts began when my mom enrolled me in watercolor classes with an artist in Kolkata, India. The style I learned was fluid and abstract, with a lot of attention to Nature. That was for a few years, and then somehow it all fizzled out! I showed promise, and when I showed my paintings and sketches to my husband, he pushed me to take up painting again. So, after nearly 25 years, I decided to take up painting, but this time learn a different medium. While in India for a few years, I took a few classes in oil painting in 2009.

Color and texture are the two elements that really excite me and I started experimenting with them for a few years. This opened up a new world for me and I was content and joyous when I was working with my paints! I joined a local co-op art gallery in 2010, researched and followed several well-known and contemporary artists to gain knowledge about the different styles and genres of painting. This helped me to figure out what I liked and would like to work with and pursue.

I’ve traveled a way since then; my art has evolved from portraits and realistic landscapes to abstracts. I work with bold, bright colors, drawing inspiration from my travels, from the people I meet, from the sensory touch of fabrics, spices, sculptors and carvings. The East, with its history and mysticism is blended with the bold confidence of the West in a subtle harmony in my work. My paintings also consciously reflect my view on the political and cultural happenings in the world, and my contribution as a conscious world citizen. Each day brings forth a new idea, a new thought I want to explore on canvas, and the journey continues…

Please tell us about your art.
I am a woman artist, having traveled quite a bit – and my art reflects my thoughts, feelings and who I am. Bright bold color and texture really excites me and most of my paintings reflect that. I started my art journey with painting realistic landscapes and portraits, but moved on to abstract depiction of Nature and Life!

I draw inspiration from the places I’ve visited, the people I’ve encountered with, the stories I’ve heard, from the sensory experiences of feeling different fabrics and weaves, the spices used in different countries, and their color and aroma! The touch and feel of carvings, sculptures, weathered rocks and the feel of the sand – they all help me in my pursuit of using color and texture in my paintings.

For the past few years, my paintings reflect cultural and political issues too, drawing attention to some of the issues that I’m passionate about – like climate change and the erosion of corals, war and fleeing refugees, women and equality among humankind. My work is constantly evolving, moving from serious issues that I feel need to be addressed, to the cathartic release of painting nature in its abstract form.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
There are a lot more artists than galleries- storefront or online. Hence representation is a major issue, where galleries often sticking to the few well known coteries, rather than expanding out to the upcoming artists. The online galleries have thousands of artists they represent, and trying to find a niche in there is practically impossible.

The other challenge which I face is time management. As an entrepreneur artist, not only am I painting my vision on canvas, I have to be able to be on top of social media, update my website, approach galleries and network. Often times, as a result, one is lagging behind and there is always a catch-up game going along.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can visit my website to see my paintings at www.durbasen.com. On social media, you can see my latest works at www.instagram.com/durbasenarts and on www.facebook.com/durbasenarts.

All my paintings are for sale, and I also do commissions. My paintings can be viewed in galleries too – for latest information, please visit my website.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Prosenjit Sen

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