Having spent most of his life in Baroda, Chowdhury’s art confronts urban violence in a manner which does not shock, but rather leaves a lingering feeling of vulnerability, almost haunting the viewer. Playing with the idea of historical memory, Chowdhury’s work can be called a reaction to acts of extreme violence. While the Gujarat riots were a nodal point in his art practice, the controlled nuclear tests at Pokhran in Gujarat only heightened the possibility of further violence leading to increased anguish for the artist. While the current political situation does influence him and his art practice, Chowdhury also comments strongly on the frivolous nature of contemporary society, the unnatural need to belong and the societal pressures are all mocked on his canvasses. 

Highlighting the spectator-like role of the civilian, Chowdhury introduces the motif of the rickshaw – the most common mode of transport in Baroda, as a silent witness to urban atrocity. Other everyday objects, like the barber’s chair or a rocking chair play protagonists in his paintings, which teem with narratives but are unable to speak. Elaborating on his art he says “By juxtaposing several images, creating movement and a haze of memories, I have tried to animate the jumble of life, the fast pace and imposition of material things in my recent work.” 

Art

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