Of fiery reds & bold beliefs

Of fiery reds & bold beliefs

Meet Mrinmoy Barua, the artist who uses a lot of reds and oranges in his works, and dedicates many of his paintings to women

Mrinmoy Barua's work

Just free from his exhibition at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, artist Mrinmoy Barua is anything but relaxed. “Now there will be more work as people will begin connecting with me for buying these artworks,” he says contentedly. And rightly so. His show, The Vivacious, drew people from far and wide thanks to the huge hoardings across the city prior to the show, held from July 28 - 31. The works displayed, a mix of divine figurative and vibrant abstract paintings, only added to the charisma. Done in rich hues of reds, blues and oranges, the works simply seem to have lit the gallery.

There is a story behind why Barua uses rich reds and oranges in his works. “There was a time when these bright colours scared me. I used them scantily. Then, in 2004, my father fell sick and during this period, I donated blood so many times that my fear of red vanished,” he says.

“The works on display here are all about showing living with art with peace, love and respect, whether at your workplace or home. It not only complements a space but creates a unique personal experience within both your inner and outside worlds,” he says.

Women are stronger

Barua’s bold lines speak for themselves. A number of his paintings are dedicated to women, each with a lot of fluidity and energy that are shown through rich red shades with no baseline. He paints the female form in all its hues and aspects, celebrating its energy, vitality and passion, portraying it as infinite, determined and sensuous.

“I genuinely feel women are the more stronger sex than men, and through my bold lines, I try to show that,” says the artist who is inspired by his mother, Priti Rani Barua.

Figurative is more close to his heart, though it is his abstract work that sells more, and the artist is not very happy about it. “Maybe because an abstract painting can fit in any place, any room, and on any wall, but a figurative work needs to have those sort of surroundings,” he opines.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Barua joined as an art teacher at his alma mater, New Delhi’s Raisina Bengali School (he heads the school’s art department) after completing his education because “no matter how good an artist you are, you need to have a job to sustain you, otherwise even your art work will suffer.”

A resident of Dwarka (Delhi), Barua has held many solo and group shows, and sold a lot, too. His works can be seen in many public and private collections, and corporates are his dedicated clients, as also actor Madhuri Dixit. But he rues the fact that those who understand art can’t buy it, while the ones who buy it have no understanding of art. Art isn’t valued much, and that’s because art is not taken seriously at the school level, he says.

But we need arts

“It is cities like Kolkata and Mumbai where art thrives; Kolkata because people there are genuine art lovers, and Mumbai because people have a larger buying capacity. In Delhi-NCR, it is Gurugram that shows more promise,” he says.

Artist Mrinmoy Barua

One thing that stands Barua apart from other artists is that he works only with acrylic on canvas, rarely using any other medium. And he works for just about three-four hours a day. “That’s more than sufficient,” says Barua. Even these huge works (some of them are life-size) that he creates take about 10-20 days for their completion. He feels that emotions and thoughts that go into a work can be sustained only for a maximum of 20 days. “After that, your thoughts change and spontaneity is lost,” he says.

If you happen to browse through his website, you will find under the ‘Shop Now’ section a rather innovative way of presenting your creativity to prospective buyers. So, if one of his artworks does not fit into your scheme of things, or you need more greens to buy it, you can have the same creative wonder on perhaps a fleece blanket, beach towel, tote bag, portable battery chargers, t-shirts, coffee mugs and much more.


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