Artist Santanu Hazarika tells us how comedian books and metallic music are the 2 constants in his evolving model

In Santanu Hazarika’s portrait of shut buddy, actor Shruti Haasan, she is half-human, half-robot, and wears a demure gaze, strokes of a yellow solar rising like wings from her again. A haloed Mother Mary — if she have been a cyborg.

Cool blue metallic portraits may be the Guwahati-native artist’s newest obsession, however the core thought nonetheless displays his trademark affinity in direction of creating comedian e book characters out of individuals.

Winner of the world’s first Red Bull World Doodle Art Champion in 2014, Santanu has been steadily constructing a reputation for himself on this planet of visible artwork. His artwork finds a spot within the albums of musicians similar to Raftaar, Ritviz and Divine; on sneakers by Adidas and Reebok; as graffiti on partitions; and most just lately, on a Rajasthan Royals tour bus, for this 12 months’s IPL season.

Over the telephone from Mumbai, the place he’s primarily based out of now, Santanu explains how his fascination with comedian books drew him to the world of artwork.

“I designed the artwork for Major Lazer and Nucleya’s mix, ‘Jadi Buti’, in which these two characters: Bass Raja [drawn like an Indian king, an Amar Chitra Katha man with more defined abs] and DJ Lazer [a Jamaican hero shooting out lasers] are on a comic book cover,” he says. “These are two wildly different characters from different universes, in a crossover scene.”

Without any formal coaching within the topic, comics — from Spiderman and X-Men to Spawn and Dragon Ball Z, have been his first inspiration.

Headbanging To Art

“Back in school, I would draw sketches of these characters for friends, to earn canteen money,” remembers Santanu. A quid professional quo, he would proceed effectively into engineering faculty (this time, for pints of beer).

“It was a bad phase for me. I really wanted to drop out, and take up graphic designing or animation, but I couldn’t. I had to undergo therapy for my depression. I would sit in class and just sketch all the time, even the teachers had given up on me,” he says.

However, on the identical time, phrase of his work unfold and his musician pals in native bands from Guwahati and Shillong began requesting him to design their album artwork and tools.

Running parallel to his curiosity in drawing, was his curiosity in metallic music, and the 2 fed into one another. “I loved listening to bands such as Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Cannibal Corpse,” he says. But what he beloved simply as a lot was their album artwork.

“Most of my artwork even now, is inspired by these old metal bands. They know how to give a face to their music. This idea of musical sounds lending to a visual representation is very interesting to me,” he says.

Not surprisingly then, Santanu’s work has discovered favour in India’s rising indie music market, the place musicians and artists alike are attempting to carve an area that’s rebelliously un-Bollywood and but Indian at coronary heart. It reveals in his work for Mc Altaf And Ikka of Gully Gang, and Seedhe Maut.

Gauhati Art Project

  • Growing up in Guwahati, Assam, Santanu says he had a tricky time discovering mentors within the artwork and design world.
  • In 2018, he, together with three different artists and designers from the town, began the Gauhati Art Project as a approach to give again to their house State of Assam.
  • “We want to bridge the gap between young designers from the Northeast, and the outside world,” he says.
  • GAP holds talks with artists such because the Aravani Art Project, Sanitary Panels’ Rachita Taneja, Green Humour’s Rohan Chakravarty, and others.
  • To encourage originality, final 12 months, it got here up with an fascinating theme for Inktober — the prompts have been uniquely Assamese, from ‘Lahe Lahe’ (taking issues good and gradual) to ‘Dolar Bogori’ (an unreliable individual, who switches sides typically).

“My work is heavily inspired by our mythology, history and philosophy,” he provides. “I am interested in how mythology is a beautiful cryptic way of passing on knowledge, hidden in design. The more myths I read, the more I started incorporating those details and metaphors in my art,” he says.

Despite engaged on completely different mediums with a wide range of shoppers, he believes that the majority of his art work finished commercially isn’t a illustration of his authentic model, which he calls “much vulgar, highly detailed, disturbing, and a touch macabre” — a possible remnant of his metallic roots.

“In September this year, I will be doing my first solo exhibition in Bombay. It will have my personal works which I have so far been hiding from the world,” he says.


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