The beast within! That is the thought that comes to mind when one is confronted with
H. R. Das’s bulls. There is an empathy that he evokes in the viewer when faced with his canvases. They exude the power, pride and heart of the beast that is a part of us all.

H.R. Das captures the essence of village life through his amazing cattle. His, bulls and cows don’t just exist but pulsate with energy. Whether yoked or free they effortlessly express the sheer strength and beauty of the beast. H.R. Das has taken the bull and made it his own, one cannot dispute the fact that he has a distinctly unique style of portraying this magnificent animal that is so rooted in the Indian culture and psyche. In fact, some may say that he has taken a common place animal and given it a heroic status in the manner that it takes on an almost human persona. One can relate to the beast’s agony, its joy of life, its anger and one can fear it as well.

While some artists tend to overlook the background, treating it as a mere support for their central theme; H.R. Das, treats it like a stage setting in front of which his characters perform. They may recede and be dismissed as props, but his backgrounds still command attention, the intricate tapestry effect and mute lines provide a vibrant milieu that serve to highlight the interactions between the main players of his magnum opus.

H.R. Das comes across as a director more than artist, putting forth a visual display of raw emotions and power.

H R Das

H R Das is an awards winning artist .He received awards from Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation , Mumbai 2017, All India Fine Arts and Craft Society, New Delhi 2010, The Art Society Of India, Mumbai 2009, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai 2009
He did Master of Fine Arts. from K.S.O.University, Mysore,(Karnataka) .Bachelors of Fine Arts from Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwa Vidyalaya,Khairagarh (C.G.) and B.Sc. from University of Burdwan (W.B.)
HR Das had solo exhibitions in
ICA Gallery,Jaipur,Lalit Kala Akademi ,New Delhi,Gallery Splash,Gurgaon,Jahangir Art Gallery ,Mumbai,Suchitrra Art Gallery, Mumbai,Art Entrance, Mumbai,2007.Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai,Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Mumbai,
Duo show at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai,
He participated in several group shows in Mumbai,New Delhi,Badodara,Ahmedabed,Bhubaneswar, Kolkatta,Banglore,Dubai and USA .
He participated in camps KARA Art Camp, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Hyderabad,Art by the Sea – III, Carter Road Amphitheatre, Mumbai, National Art camp,Udaipur,Organised by Galleria VSB,New Delhi
National Art camp.Manali,Organised by Galleria VSB ,New Delhi,Artists camp,Organised by AIFACS,
His works are in several Governer House,Chattisgarh, AIFACS,New Delhi.
UAE,USA,UK And many Private Collection.

Nandi’s life and times

Artist H R Das has captured the mythological animal Nandi – Lord Shiva’s mount in all its glory, finds Debarati S Sen. Among the many words that can aptly describe H R Das’s paintings, powerful, is the one that really fits. The artist’s bulls are dominant, vibrant, and full of character. The paintings in the current series titled Evolutionary Strokes have his bull, Nandi, trying to tell stories and manifesting different moods and avatars. “I began with the thought of Lord Shiva’s vahan Nandi when I started on this series. I have tried to depict a lot in these paintings. My mythological bull has many poses and many different expressions as well – there are some that look as if they are laughing, some are pensive,” says the artist. The slow evolution of his Nandi, over the years, from tempestuous to mellow has been accompanied by a slight tweak in the artist’s preferred colour palette as well, and has now introduced shades of blue. His works also have a religious twinge to it with symbols like swastika and lotus. There are paintings that have a background of Lord Ganesha, Krishna with the flute, while also manifesting his Vishawa-roop in the background. Other paintings have Goddess Durga and Goddess Laxmi in monochrome behind the protagonist Nandi. .. .. .. .. .. Debarati S Sen , April 26, 2012, Times of India

Evolutionary Strokes

The Bull – an animal that has found pride of place in ancient cultures and religions and continues to both enthral and astound the human conscience. The ancient Egyptians considered it a symbol of royalty, the Apis bull was worshipped as an incarnation of God. So too in the Mesopotamian seals, the bull finds pride of place. The Syrian, Persian and Hindu mythology has revered the bull as a creature of power, vigour and fertility, been granted protection by several religions and even relegated to the status of demi-God. Perhaps the most well-known bull in Hindu mythology is Nandi, Lord Shiva’s chosen vehicle. In fact, Nandi, is believed to be so loyal and faithful to Shiva that he is given the position of ‘doorkeeper’ at the entrance of every Shiva temple. This Nandi, is the bull that HR Das reveres in his paintings as well. The colour palette he chooses is a festive one with vibrant reds juxtaposed against shocking black, while the pristine white of the bull shines through. Over the years as one has watched the various moods that HR Das has rendered his muse in, one can’t but help notice a change in the works. Earlier the bull was always a solitary creature, revelling in his own personality – alone but never lonely. Then, the bull took on the role of challenger, naughty child or stubborn playmate. Now, the bull seems to have matured in a sense, it seeks company. Das’s bulls have now developed a sense of community, which has introduced a contented and peaceful aspect into his subject. This slow evolution of the bull from tempestuous to mellow has been accompanied by a slight tweak in the artist’s preferred colour palette as well, which has now introduced shades of grey. The colour choice seems particularly significant if one considers some of the compositions that the artist has chosen. For instance in the painting, ‘Not Impossible’ the bull is shown in a winged avatar, the stages of evolution of man in the backdrop stresses the logic of the title. There is also a play on the association of the bull with the share market and commercialisation as the bull features on stamps and with the rupee coin in the background in some works. At the same time there are recognised religious symbols lurk in the shadows of some of his work, these again reinforce the idea of Nandi in the viewer They may not thrust themselves into our immediate conscience but are nevertheless in the periphery; omniscient in their existence. Essentially Das presents his muse in all its aspects and avatars. HR Das’s work which was earlier an amalgam of mood sketches, has now taken on a more contemplative and philosophical leaning. He questions the fickleness and transience of life which is likened to phases of the moon in some of his works like ‘Previous Dream’. The weather vane in ‘Weather Cock’ demonstrates how easily life can change and bring us to a new crossroad. Ephemeral symbols like bubbles and butterflies flit through his canvases. As the imagery in HR Das’s paintings has evolved, so has the artist’s understanding and control over his subject. There is a strength and conviction in his creations as well as a boldness with experimentation and introduction of new elements. HR Das is one of the few artist’s who does not shy away from projecting new ideas on canvas and while in some cases they may take him away from his leitmotif, his work retains his inimitable style.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Razvin Namdarian / Mumbai

एच. आर. दास का सफ़र

हरेराम दास से लेकर एच. आर. दास तक का सफ़र एच. आर. दास और उनके वृषभ (Bull) की यात्रा रोमांचक संघर्षों से भरी है। उनके चित्रों में जो लाल-हरे बैल हम देखते हैं, वे उनकी निरंतर यात्रा के ही प्रतीक हैं। मुंबई में बसे दास की यह यात्रा बंगाल के एक छोटे कस्बे से शुरू होती है और छत्तीसगढ़ के एक गाँवनुमा कस्बे में एक अलग पथ लेती है। यूं तो हरेराम छत्तीसगढ़ के इंदिरा कला संगीत विश्वविद्यालय, खैरागढ़ में आये थे मूर्तिकला की शिक्षा लेने; किन्तु मुख्य विषय चुनते समय उन्होंने चित्रकला को चुना। एच. आर. दास की उनकी आधुनिक प्रतिमा का यहीं अंकुरण हुआ। खैरागढ़ में हमेशा भौतिक व आधुनिक सुख-सुविधाओं की कमी रही है। किन्तु कला में मौलिकता लाने के लिए आवश्यक घटक जैसे संस्कृति का दर्शन, प्राकृतिक दृश्य और बढ़िया जलवायु के साथ ही कलात्मक वातावरण यहाँ अवश्य मिलतेहैं। यही कारण है की एच. आर. दास के चित्रों में किसी शहरी या विदेशी कलाकार की कला के नमूने नहीं दिखते। इन्होंने शांतिनिकेतन और बंगाल के अपने शुरुवाती समय में जो चित्र बनाये, वे ‘बंगाल स्कूल’ से प्रभावित चित्र हैं। खैरागढ़ आकर उन्होंने इससे निजात पाई। खैरागढ़ में विश्वविद्यालय के प्रांगण में ही बहुत से जानवर घूमा करते हैं। दृश्यकला के छात्र अपने अभ्यास के लिए इनकी ही ओर खींचे चले आते हैं। हरेराम भी इससे अछूता न रहा। एच. आर. दास की ‘Bull Series’ का पदार्पण यहीं के किसी बैल को देखकर उसकी आकृति बनाने से हुआ। हरेराम के शुरुवाती चित्रों में मानव आकृतियों का समावेश अधिक रहा। कहीं-कहीं देवी-देवता भी दिखते। धीरे-धीरे सबका स्थान Bull ने ले लिया। एच. आर. दासके बैल और सांड गुस्सैल नहीं है। अपितु ये बहुत सुंदर और भावुक दिखतेहैं। इन्हें देखकर भय पैदा नहीं होता बल्कि उन्हें अपने पास बुलाने का मन करता है। हरेराम ने अपने सपनों को, अपनी Fantacies को समसामयिक परिस्थिति के अनुसार अपने चित्रों में उकेरा है। चाहे अपने जीवन में घटी घटनायें हों, या पारिवारिक – सामाजिक अनुभव हों, सभी को उसने अपने Bulls के माध्यम से दिखलाया है। आज भी एच. आर. दास अपने कैनवास पर बैल की आकृति उकेरते समय वही पुराना गाँव का, सीधा-सादा, भावुक मन वाला हरेराम दास बन जाता है। जब उस painting की gallery में प्रदर्शनी हो, तब वह फिर एच. आर. दास बन बैठता है। कुछ रंग, जैसे लाल और नारंगी बहुत चटक दिखते हैं, तो कुछ सामान्य (Neutral)। इस कलाकार ने चित्रकला करने के साथ ही धातु और Fibre की मूर्तियाँ भी गढ़ी हैं। मूर्तियों पर भी इनकी चित्रकला देखने को मिलती है। इन चित्रों में एक विरोधाभास दिखता है। आमतौर पर लाल रंग दिखते ही सांड भड़क उठता है और क्रोध में अपने नथुने फड़काता है। यहॉं तो पूरा सांड ही लाल रंग में रंगा है। फिर भी यह शांतचित्त और मुस्कुराता-सा दिखता है। इन असीम ऊर्जावान किन्तु शांत बैलों को देखकर हम जान सकते हैं इन्हें रचने वाले एच. आर. दास को; जिसने जीवन के संघर्षों की तीव्रता और कष्टों को अपनी सहनशीलता से दूर करते हुए भारतीय और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय कला जगत में अपना स्थान बनाया। ............................. डॉ. अनंत महामल्ला, भोपाल (मध्यप्रदेश)