Orijit Sen barely needs an introduction. The graphic artist and illustrator has been in the news for his politically charged art. You may have seen his wildly popular illustrations on social media or in the mainstream press. The founder of People Tree, the niche bookstore-cum-design studio in New Delhi, uses art to make a statement about politics, religion, media, culture and anything he feels is worth commenting upon.
I won't write much about Orijit Sen himself, because that defeats the purpose of showcasing his visual commentary. You can read his Wikipedia page for biographical information. Instead, I will present some of his work, along with his comments here. Viewer discretion is advised, because the art will upset right wingers, left wingers and wingers of all persuasions. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Orijit Sen.
All images have been used with Orijit's explicit permission.
"I did this in solidarity with the FTII students. Had Gajendra Chauhan played Duryodhan, I am sure he would not have been a fit person for appointment. It has nothing to do with his achievement in real life, but he played a truth teller in the Mahabharata, while he is a fraudster in real life. I wanted to bring that out."
"This image is meant to convey the idiocy of the pseudo-science that the Hindu right peddles, with claims of organ transplants in ancient India. This image is basically of Modi and his cabinet."
"Social media has polarised debate and conversation. People say the most hideous things and then put a smiley or say have a nice day. A nice day is acchha din in Hindi. This image is a comment on social media and society."
"Modi went abroad and made a statement that earlier Indians used to be ashamed of being called Indians. It was such an arrogant, and at the same time irrelevant comment. What makes him think that Indians are ashamed of being called Indians?"
"The idea of casting a brown-skinned woman as Mary Kom and the refusal to accept a Northeastern person as a hero. I thought how would it be if Brad Pitt were cast as Sachin Tendulkar?"
"This image is self explanatory."
"Whenever reconciliation between India and Pakistan is talked about it is always in terms of bhai-bhai. Why not behen-behen?"
"This was after the expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from AAP, when their dictatorial tendencies were coming out."
"Often art derives its meaning from the context, it doesn't have to be stated explicitly. This image is about Yakub Memon and the issue was really big when I did this, so I didn't have to refer to him. It's interesting how art changes meaning when the context changes. As the idea of Yakub Memon recedes from the imagination it becomes a separate piece about capital punishment."
"I did this around the 40th anniversary of the Emergency last year."
"This is about the proposal to ban pornography, which lasted about three days. I found it strange that while the government was considering banning porn we as a country are so enthusiastic about war."
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