We had the opportunity to learn more about the amazing Artist Sunil Howlader who is featured in our exhibit Rhythm & Blues.
What was your path that you took to becoming an artist?
I have always painted. Started when I was 5 years old trying to paint anything I saw around me using spices as paint ( turmeric, green leaves, altha etc ) since there were no paints available at that time where I grew up in a village in rural Bangladesh. At college, I started studying science art my father’s advice but found that I had no interest and quickly switched to art.I have been painting ever since.
Who or what inspires your work?
In general, I paint common, ordinary things that I see around me that have deep meaning whenyou look at them beyond the surface. I started painting what I saw in my village when I was growing Up: village people. elephants, horses, children flying kites, the rural landscape. Now I live in beautiful Mystic, CT so in addition to the subjects of my childhood, I added some new themes: reflection (the sun reflecting onwater and things around it) and music. Although I paint the reflection of a tree on pond, I mean the viewer to think of the other meaning of the world “reflection’.The sun dancing on the water is music. Reflection and music are therefore related in my mind. The series of paintings of musicians don’t just represent music but are meant to display in a visual way the full meaning of the word: harmony. I paint horses that are running and call those series of paintings “Destination”, which is meant to indicate our effort to reach our destination whether real or psychological. Elephants represent the Hindu festivals of my childhood, very happy occasions indeed, and therefore are a visual representation of joy and happiness.
Why do you think art matters in our world?
In my view, art is about aesthetics in the original meaning of the word. Art is what is “good”. As such it is like a window that can change the world by reminding us about our humanity. My philosophy is that beauty can change a person’s life