APOTHEOSIS OF ARTISTIC FREEDOM
DESH RANJAN (55) I count this man among the lucky minority.His works is startling echo of caveman’s unschooled genius,his raw energy,his irrepressible Creativity,the surging passion for creative self-expression impels him to explore many moods and modes of Art:painting,sculpture,installation,sand-modelling,etc.Unshackled by the inhibiting restraints of formal training in Art,he conceives the content or theme of his works in aesthetic enchantment,and gives Form to it as an expression of creative joy.He explores with interest and benefit the vast horisons of expermentation opened up by Modern Art,without falling a prey to any”ism” or fad or fetish
With childlike curiosity he pursues artistic activity which gives him joy in exploring new possibilities of self-expression,and novel arrangements in different materials.By such exercises,he gains deep understanding in the handelling of various materials such as oil paints,water colours,cement,terracotta,wood,cloth,metal,polyester resin,wet sand.In the process not only are his aesthetic needs satsfied but also his capabilities enhanced.
HIS PHILOSOPHY: His credo is that the same energy and intelligence,which govern his life,are all-pervading andoperating in the same manner in Nature and its constituents.In the diversity of his materials,methods,and themes,he sees the reflection and extension of his own self.He avoids producing carbon copies of the outer world, and looks inward for the images being created in his mind’s workshop.The painting or sculpture thus created seems to have descended from another world.The creative process and the created artefact provide him an opportunity for”intrspection and self-realisation”.Says he:Normally I start doing my work of art for my own self.However,when I am able to complete some of my works(to my utmost satisfaction)I like to share them with other fellow beings”.
HIS TECHNIQUE:Preconceived concepts very rarely get shaped in to a work 9of art at Sharma’s hands.He just starts playing with coulours or different materials.In the case of painting,he does not prepare a base-drawing.He starts working directly with paints.
More often than not Desh Ranjan work on paper.His paletteis restricted to primary hues:Red,Blue and yellow.All shades,tints, and tones are derived bfrom the primary Though “unschooled” he follows the old rule of water-colour painting.He does not use white paint.This effect comes from the unpainted white of the background itself.
Delineating his method he says:”Most beginnings(for me) are like action painting.Normally the starting point is totally silenced from wordly affairs.In the beginning I use only my hands and fingers intead of brushes.i let the chance and the subconscious enjoy their freedom.I will go on changing /mixing the forms.I enjoy this dynamism of birth and death of impressions.During this process certain forms tends to crytalise and if I like to retain them,I start working on them.Then comes the role of brushes.I continue working/reshaping them till I really start liking them.”
Desh Ranjan Sharma is self-taught artist distinguished by an irrepressible passion for self-expression. As a bank employee he stated as Sunday Painter in 1977, but soon tranfromed the facts and figures of his occupation by sheer grit, and the urge to express his way and view of life, creatively. He transferred those facts of accountancy to the everchanging panoarma of life around and within him, and changed the banking figures into live embodiments of aspirations, faith, hope, and life’s countless moods. The more he worked in celebration of the discovery of the artist-in-him, the keener his disire to learn grew. The Creativity of Art sprang up from his own savage passion.The Craft of Art he developed by the tireless exercise of his eyes and lithe dexterity of his hands.Unlike a formally-trained artist, who suffers lifelong from conditioned feflexing he had developed under insensible Art tutelage, Sharma explored the uncharted realms of Creativity. Thus his distinction lies in his uncanny ability to choose suitable materials and to develop techniques, albeit experimentally, most appropriate to the dictates of Creativity. In sharp contrast, a qualified artist is limited in the choice of themes as well as techniques. He is mis(taught) into inhibiting his creative urges-when Art is actually supposed to celebrate and express Emotion. It is in this special (yet all-important) sense that I assert : Art is the most beautiful way of signifying to the world the magnificence of individual freedom. Not only is Desh Ranjan Sharma’s work an Apothesis of Artistic Freedem, it is also an example of Art, in which the magnificence of Creativity and the consummation of Craft are melded into a Holistic self-expression of an enormous emotive power. If he continues working, undaunted by critics and unspoilit by admirers, he will for sure be a force to reckon with in the World of Art in another ten years or so.
6 September 2006 DR S S BHATTI
Phone +91-172-2773258® 3314,SECTOR 15-D
Note : The writer is Principal (retired), Chandigarh College of Architecture; former official Art Critic of the Tribue; and Ex-Senator, and Ex-Dean, Faculty of Design & Fine Arts, Punjab University, Chandigrah.