Basu The Indian Tragic

by Gérard Charut, Art critic, Est Republicain, 24 december 1990



Born in Calcutta where he studied Fine Arts, Basu has been living in France only for the last 2 years. Of his Oriental origins, he retains a puzzling sensitivity that is subtly influenced by the “Fauves”, particularly Matisse, and other enigmatic artistes, such as Francis Bacon.
With a palette comprising purple, pink and brick red hues, Basu translates the state of his soul and his art into paintings of movement and emotion.


An art depictive of the exposed heart
Basu’s blurred outlines, glazed layers and elongated stains that make up washed out backs, legs and faces that are to be imagined rather than read, are all memories of a bare Indian world.
His world, which we in the West tend to spiritualise or to render as sublime, he presents to us with a deliberate cruelty as it exists in himself, in other words, as tragic.

If Basu’s women, his preferred models, are faceless and therefore sightless, it is because in general Indian women have no power, and therefore no reality. And if the children he represents seem ethereal, it is because in India, unlike in this country, a birth is not a blessing, but a tragedy: the arrival of an extra mouth to feed.


The terrible world that he shows us would be unbearable without the talent that is in all great artists, writers, painters and filmmakers, to tell all, show everything, share everything, presenting us with a slice of the soul, the exposed heart, bright red sores that never heal.







by Gérard Charut