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Many worlds, one passion
An artist, author and business strategy consultant, Shombit Sengupta says that his art is extremely western style but he wanted to get out from the Cartesian system of western society. Team Viva reports
Shombit Sengupta smiles with child-like glee. Beginning his journey from a slum-like refugee colony in Kolkata, the artist has taken art to a whole new imaginative level. Creating brands and logos for globally renowned corporate houses, and now a French national, Shombit never allowed his creativity to be muzzled by the charm of the corporate world. Gesturism art, comprising his own unique style of paintings and disorder installations, still figures as his first love.
He has recently painted Renault’s Kwid car. The art car was on display at Désordre, an exhibition by Sen, in Mumbai in November, last year. About his transition from an artist to a brand designer and then back to the world of art Shombit says that fine arts gives one the skill of proportion, drawing, a sense of colour and how to look at the world in a very different perspective. Applied art teaches more on layout, typography, illustration and photography. But it does not teach about consumer behaviour or the socio economic trend of society.
“The key element of a brand is it’s name. It is what people recall and the name is what people buy. So I spent huge time to get the grip of four fundamental architecture of Western typography; Antique, Didot, Elzavir and Times. I always had good control of drawing the human anatomy which helped me a lot to practice and apply the typography. I have created more than 2000 brands in different parts of the world, and most of the typography was done by hand, which helped in retaining the brand’s authenticity,” he says.
An international creative business strategy consultant he is the founder of Shining Consultant, situated in the rive droit of Paris. “The brands, I have created, brought phenomenal commercal success to my clients. In Europe, US, Argentina, Japan, China and India, there are people who regularly use at least one or two brands designed by me in their everyday life. I have invented a certain non-conformist way of looking at Western and global consumers by studying their life from their toilet, kitchen, bedroom and living room. I always tried to portray the social cauldron at the top management table,” he says.
Born in 1954 in Kolkota, when the poor-rich divide was highly pronounced in India’s economy Shombit had to start working at an young age to support his family. His father was a leader of the Communist party and mother a rural primary school teacher. He says: “Poverty should not destroy your emotion and hygienic sense. That is what I learned from my mother. I arrived in Paris in November 1973, when I was 19, in a tourist visa and with just eight dollars in hand,” he says on his journey from Kolkota to Paris.
For the first three years he was a sweeper in a lithography print shop near Paris. All the famous artists used to come there to make their lithographs.
He continues: “They even bought my paintings. Then I entered into the design business. Later, I realised that only design will not take me far and understood that marketing in corporate houses uses very statistical analytical jargon, whereas consumers connect with a brand in an artistic and social aspect, of course with a quality product. To create a brand that sells more lies in understanding social trends and blending that with artistic, non-conformist style.”
He believes that the way art has been nurtured by the French people is phenomenal: “The latest was the invitation from Renault in Paris. They invited me to paint an art car for the first time in the world on their India made Kwid. Renault exhibited the art car in a glass jewel box in front of ICIA gallery in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, where my exhibition was going on. Then they shifted the car to my solo exhibition in the Painters’ Village of Barbizon, France in December 2016.”
He says that his art is extremely Western style but he wanted to get out from the Cartesian system of Western society. He represents two things of India; the inclusiveness of human society and the non-conformist application of colour with absolute freedom. “Indian art can be divided into two. One is the typical ancient pattern centric collective artists’ work which existed for centuries and the other is the art that follows the Western school. The young generation of contemporary Indian art is more powerful, thought driven and original.”
An author who has written five books there are constraints for him to write. “You are not allowed to make mistakes when you write,” he chuckles. For the past two years Shombit has conducted exhibitions in Paris, Milan,Tokyo, Austria, Barbizon and Mumbai. He is planning more shows in France, Italy, US, India, China and Japan. “I am working extensively with my Gesturism Art and désordre installations to nourish my desire to explore the imagination of the world and diverse human society,” he signs off.
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