Kalam Patua

Renowned Kalighat painter, Kalam Patua was born on November 1, 1962 in Jhilli village, Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Kalam was born in the Patua community who skilled themselves as the scroll painters and wandered along the ghats of Kali temple in Kolkata in early 18th century to showcase their unique style of patachitra scroll paintings, which thereafter got the recognitions as kalighat paintings.

Kalam Patua mastered the art form from his grandfather and father who were the most skilled patachitra painters of their time. From an early age of 12 Kalam started to paint the patachitras made by his father and grandfather. However, with the change of time and exposed to some ugly truth of society, Kalam decided to take the kalighat style to another level by introducing contemporary themes by moving from the conventional mythological themes. Thus, in this move, he happened to be the first kalighat painter to revive the traditional art form from its conventional patcahitra style towards a more contemporary subject, form and style.

Over his 40 years of practice and utmost dedication, today he has established himself in the forefront as a pioneer of contemporary kalighat painters. His subjects are often symbolic of the happenings around the city life, the elites, often induced with humor, satire, idea and thought provoking attitude. The subtle use of colours in different hues and tones, bold lines have been developed and acknowledged as the style and recognition of Kalam Patua’s Kalighat style paintings.

Kalam Patua’s works are shown worldwide in different exhibitions and some are also possessed by museums abroad as their permanent collection.

* Image and Artwork copyright: Artist