Born 1962, Rampurhat, West Bengal, India
Lives and works in Rampurhat
Kalam Patua is a contemporary exponent of Kalighat painting. He was born into the Patua community of scroll painters and storytellers and subsequently taught himself the Kalighat style, which draws on conventions from West Bengal scroll paintings and Indian miniature painting. Kalighat painting developed in the vicinity of the Kali temple in Kolkata in the mid nineteenth century and departs from the linear, narrative style of the scrolls to focus on single scenes, with graphic, simplified forms and often satirical, contemporary content. Patua's watercolours include elements of autobiography and myth, and reflect on social issues or current news events. This has included the changing nature of Indian society, dowry deaths, or violence against women, but also light, humorous works such as a series about working in the postal system, or depicting crowds that gather at art gallery openings.