Color and Culture – Day 90

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 90 of the 365 Days Project is by Tapas Das.]

Artwork: "A Link to History" by Tapas Das
“A Link to History” by Tapas Das. Copyright © Tapas Das
#90 – The culture of color

Since the beginning of the year, the 365 Days Project has evolved to include artists from around the world. One of the most interesting discoveries from this global exploration of art is the insights it offers into the particular cultural perspectives that inform not only each artist’s creation, but the viewer’s interpretation of the work.

Visual artists choose certain colors for the energetic qualities they bring to their work, but there is often an underlying cultural influence to their choice of palette.

Tapas Das is a painter from New Delhi, India. He closely follows contemporary artistic tendencies across the globe, thanks to the power of the internet. “I also observe the modern Masters,” he said, “and I feel that the absolute freedom of their art, combined with extraordinary imagination and intellect should also reflect our present age and describe the contemporary world. Much of my artwork is based on topics I read about or see on television, particularly current events and world news.”

But Das is also influenced by the past. “My palette is composed of the vibrant Indian colors found in the traditional Mughal miniatures and Rajput paintings, he said.

Tapas Das’ palette is also inspired by the “hot” coloring of Basohli paintings as well as the “rani” pink of the mystical Rajasthan.

India’s extravagant colors are deeply rooted in the consciousness of its people but due to it diverse population, there are a myriad of interpretations for nearly every color.

Adding to that are the cultural differences around the world. White, for example is the color worn by widows in India, while black is worn by widows in the U.S.  White is the color reserved for bridal gowns here, while red is generally the preferred color for Indian brides.

I believe that these cultural interpretations of color not only influence Tapas Das’ choice of palette but they are also what attracts my attention to his work as a North American. The colors and juxtapositions are a novelty to my eyes as his paintings are absorbed through the lens of my particular cultural upbringing. I find myself mesmerized, as my subconscious mind attempts to culturally decode what I’m seeing.

It is fascinating and exciting, and makes me all the more curious to see what other treasures I will encounter on this year-long creative journey.

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Artwork: "Ode to Ellora (Part I)" by Tapas Das. Copyright © Tapas Das
“Ode to Ellora (Part I)” by Tapas Das. Copyright © Tapas Das

Tapas Das’ artwork can be viewed on Facebook at: Tapas Das

Description of the images included in this post:

A Link to History
Tapas Das, India
Transparent watercolor, drawing ink

Ode to Ellora (Part I)
Tapas Das, India
Transparent watercolor, drawing ink

The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

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