Like many a contemplative painter, Tanmoy Samanta's work revolves around the secret life of objects. Whether rendered in delicate gouache on paper or acrylic on canvas or board, Samanta successfully removes mundane objects from the context of mass consumption, elevating them from their everyday ignominy into works of art.
An alumnus of Santiniketan, West Bengal, Tanmoy Samanta sees himself primarily as a painter. Even though he prefers to work in small format in tempera and gouache which are considered traditional in his alma mater, Samanta customises the medium to fit his own style - scratching the surface with a knife and using rice paper from Nepal as a base to add texture to the work.
His palette consists mostly of muted tones that are reminiscent of burnished heirlooms, parchments bearing ancestral histories, and walls that have aged gracefully. Balancing adroitly between refinement and menace, Samanta invites viewers to contemplate the unusual associations that the most innocuous objects can set off. Mining personal memories, Samanta's imagery is full of motifs such as the sea, fishing nets and boats, that draw on a childhood spent in Digha, his coastal hometown in West Bengal. The objects, ever so mundane, present their alternative 'hidden' lives to the curious and attentive viewer.