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Emblem of devotion - a journey into the shrine of art - Pratik Mallik

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

One fine morning, his cell phone rang, "I am from the Exhibition House. You opted to display your work," said the voice. The name of the caller suggested that he was a renowned artist himself.

The caller said, “You have been painting for some time but why didn't you do an exhibition earlier?"

Thus began his journey as a professional artist.

Uncertainty hit Pratik for the first time when he was in class eleven. His father passed away and he found himself responsible for the living of himself and his mother. His mother always inspired Pratik to paint. And for another reason, Pratik depended on painting. Communication! He found drawing to be a very effective medium of communication. More powerful than words.

After finishing school, Art college was an obvious choice for Pratik. But he lacked confidence and assumed that he would not be able to make it through the entrance exam.

'You know, I entered the exam hall, late by forty-five minutes! I thought it was pointless. I would never be selected.' Recounts Partik.

But soon he found his name in the list of students qualified for admission to the Government Art College in Kolkata!

During one ragging session he was reminded by a senior, "Unless your father has money, don't even dare to enter that building!" Pratik’s father was not alive anyway. Neither was there a gold mine at his disposal. But there was not another option either. He had to enter that Building. And he did! It was not easy. Financial challenge was a constant companion. But his indomitable spirit never let him down. He sailed through the entire course successfully.

Another six years passed. Part-time jobs. Odd jobs. A course in graphic design. At one point, he also worked for Sabyasachi Mukherjee's team, but nothing felt satisfying enough. Then he decided to participate in exhibitions. Even solo. Soon he became a part of the wider circles of the art world. Financial constraints remained a stumbling block in his pursuit of art.

Why must one paint? Art for art's sake or art for social causes? Pratik Mallik believes, art is meant to express the inner and outer beauty of nature. Art has an intrinsic universality according to him.

In one solo exhibition, a respected artist confused the show to be of a European woman, who was working on an installation of a painting in the same hall. Pratik felt amused and undermined, both. He resolved to establish his identity as an artist in the coming days.

Art is worship to this young man. When he is at work, he feels like a priest in the shrine. Pratik is truly an emblem of devotion to the cause of artistic creation. The paint, the charcoal, the canvas, and the paper make up for his universe.

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