Uttam Chitrakar

9 Petals - The Studio is thrilled to introduce the esteemed Master Artist, Uttam Chitrakar. Born in 1991 in the village of Pingla, West Bengal, India, Uttam embarked on his artistic journey under his father's guidance. Further refining his craft, he learned from the renowned artist Swarna Chitrakar.

His creations vividly portray the Babu Culture, a central theme in the Kalighat style. In 2018, he was acknowledged as an Ojas Art Protégé Artist. Uttam, honored with a state award and distinguished Potua artist, is known for using only natural colors in his creations.

His masterpieces have adorned prestigious institutions such as Chitrakala Parishad in Bengaluru, IGNCA in Delhi, Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, and Crafts Museum in Delhi. His exceptional talent in rejuvenating the Kalighat tradition solidifies his position as a prominent figure in the realm of Indian art. 

About Kalighat Paintings

Kalighat style painting is a traditional form of Indian folk art that originated in the vicinity of the Kalighat Kali Temple in Kolkata, India, during the 19th century. It was first practiced by specialized scroll painters known as patuas. Here are key features and aspects of Kalighat style painting.

Origin and Location

Kalighat paintings originated near the Kalighat Kali Temple, a famous Hindu temple in Kolkata dedicated to Goddess Kali.

Themes and Subjects

Initially, Kalighat paintings focused on religious and mythological themes, depicting gods, goddesses, and scenes from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Over time, the art form evolved to also represent everyday life, social issues, and colonial Calcutta.

Style and Technique

Kalighat paintings are characterized by bold strokes, vibrant colors, and a distinct simplicity. Artists typically use watercolors, ink, and brushes to create expressive and narrative compositions.

Transition to Modern Themes

In addition to traditional themes, Kalighat paintings boldly transitioned to portray scenes from colonial Calcutta, reflecting the changing times and capturing the essence of daily life.

Babu Bibi Genre

A unique genre within Kalighat Art is the Babu Bibi paintings. These artworks humorously depict the opulent lives of the 19th-century Bengali upper class in Kolkata, offering satirical commentary on the Westernized lifestyle of the Babus and the fashion choices of the Bibis.

Social Commentary

Kalighat paintings serve as a form of social commentary, providing artists with a platform to express their perspectives on religious, societal, and cultural changes.

Cultural Significance

While Kalighat paintings were initially sold as souvenirs near the Kalighat Temple, they have gained cultural significance as valuable reflections of historical and social shifts in Bengal during the 19th century.

Kalighat style painting is a vibrant and expressive form of folk art that not only captures religious and mythological themes but also serves as a window into the evolving social and cultural landscape of 19th-century Kolkata.

Explore Uttam Chitrakar's renowned Kalighat paintings exhibited across various parts of India and celebrated for their aesthetic excellence at 9 Petals - The Studio.