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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: JAYANTA ROY

Edits

“My main focus in photography is to capture unusual landscapes and portraits which can express the internal spirit of a subject in a single frame.” More often than not, one will find Jayanta Roy listening to music as he stands completely immersed in the stunning landscape in front of him. An Indian photographer who creates stunning visuals which are calm, pleasant and emotional, Jayanta has produced some astounding works that posit graphic elements and minimal expression against a clever wit and sharp sense of design.

His subjects are symbols, as they appear in both everyday life and art history, and his photography is how they trick us into belief or seduce us into complacency. He employs flat, sparse surfaces with a touch of photorealism, pop and minimalism to pass comments on conceptual art, the postmodern visual landscape, and even politics.

For Jayanta, black and white photography is almost divine. He feels that the medium allows us to cross over to the other side of reality where everything is defined in shades and not colours. The distinctions between model and tangible reality are all but blurred. It’s more an intellectual practice than an instinctive one, where texts and puns have vital roles.

The artist deliberately leaves his canvases white or off-white to underscore the object-hood of the canvas, but ultimately the conceptually framed images become more important than the conventional figure-ground relationship.

Jayanta Roy has always been in constant awe of India’s magnificent landscapes. His beautifully surreal series, ‘Himalayan Odyssey’ was shortlisted in the Professional Landscape category of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. “My aim is to show people our origin, and make people aware of its importance in a time when we have leaders here and there who are known climate change deniers”, he says.

Humans rarely make an appearance in the artist’s photographs. When they do, they are usually dwarfed by their surroundings, as he believes they are mere spectators to creation.

“Jayanta’s travels around India are not spontaneous decisions; he plans for these months in advance.
Apart from this, he constantly monitors the weather of the particular place so that the conditions are ideal when he visits.
Several of his photographs are tributes to Michael Kenna. “When you love something a lot, you are constantly making odes to it,” he says.

“Before embarking on any trip, the artist pre-visualizes his series. This helps him stay on track throughout the limited time that he has at a particular place. Music plays a big influence on his imagery.
There is hardly a shoot during which he is not listening to his favourite songs which range from Rabindra Sangeet to Bob Dylan.