Walking into Abir Karmakar’s studio in Baroda is like entering a kaleidoscope. Massive canvases painted with life-sized details of other people’s homes lean against the walls of the airy and minimal space where the artist spends most of his time. “I like to move things around here,” he says, wheeling around an almost-complete painting on a portable easel, soon to be transplanted into a gallery.
Always alert to the small surprises that occur in everyday life, Karmakar looks towards strangers for inspiration. The details are painstakingly recorded in his pocketbook and phone camera reel, and edited and collated back in the studio. “When you go to a stranger’s house some things are totally new to you. You have the vision to look at things differently,” he shares.
In this BMW Artist Film, Karmakar lets us into the joy of being fully present – and documenting the extraordinary richness of ordinary lives.
Born in 1977 in Siliguri, West Bengal, Abir Karmakar currently lives and works in Baroda, India. He is represented by GALLERYSKE and has shown at multiple editions of India Art Fair.