Contemporary Durga Puja Art

Durga Puja today is a product of art, craft and design, a space in which ‘modern’ art blends with folk crafts, and prominent artists such as Sanatan Dinda, Susanta Pal, and Bhabatosh Sutar have entered the puja arena.

A feature of contemporary Durga Puja art is a reduction in size of pandals and idols, and a creative use of limited space. Idols are now folk-style creations, and puja designers like Dinda and Sutar have sidestepped tradition by first sculpting an idol before working out a décor and structure, creating a signature style. The trend has also helped unknown artists take up puja designing as a full-time career. Synthetic materials, massive pandals and flashing lights have been replaced by natural resources such as straw, jute, bamboo, mud and clay.

Even international names such as Suvaprasanna, Jogen Chowdhury, and Samir Aich have entered the fray at various times, along with professional art directors from cinema, commercial and graphic artists, and even textile designers.