Ananta Mandal was born in 1983. He spent his childhood at Chakdaha, a small town in West Bengal. After pursuing his graduation in Bachelor of Visual Arts in the discipline of Graphic Design and Applied Art with First Class from Govt. College of Art & Craft, Calcutta University, Kolkata in 2007, he moved to Mumbai, India. At present he lives and works here.
During his early phase the little boy started painting the Indian mythological characters and legend Personalities from photo calendars and various books. Later, in childhood, his artistic sense aroused, when he got introduced to a book series of old masters, named “THE GREAT ARTISTS”. He realized that only with colors and brush, another world can be created. He accepted this as a challenge and from that day onwards the journey began which is still going on. Before college, as a part of the journey, with an inner quest to learn more, he explored Sealdah and Howrah Railway Stations to capture from life, the movement and rhythm of different characters there. He also went to Indian Museum, Archaeological Department to study from antiques.
After schooling, he enrolled himself in the most prestigious institute Govt. College of Art & Craft, in Kolkata. This academic journey gave him a platform to fully indulge himself into his passion of painting. A turning page was written when all his dedication and fervor drove him into relentless effort to nothing but only become an artist.
Ananta has held regular one man shows of his work since his college time. His first solo exhibition was held in Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, in the year 2004.
His painting career augmented as he shifted to Mumbai in 2008. Gradually his creations spreaded with numerous invited group shows as well as by solo exhibitions in various galleries and organizations. At the same time he was invited to exhibit and demonstrate in different parts of India and abroad.
During his college days, Ananta bagged many national and international awards. From participating in the most prestigious Harmony Art show, Mumbai in 2008, his excellent achievements include the First Place Award from 36th International Exhibition at the Watercolor Art Society-Houston, U.S.A. in 2013, The Winsor & Newton Excellence Award from Northwest Watercolor Society, USA in 2012, Award for Best Landscape in Watercolor from The Bombay Art Society, Mumbai, in both 2006 and 2011, and many more to mention. In 2016, Ananta was invited by the Indian branch of Faber Castell to test their new watercolors. His painting is featured in the front cover of their new set of watercolors.
He is known as an expressive and imaginative painter. Mostly his paintings are created in impressionist manner and surrealist way in various mediums like watercolor, oil and acrylic. Ananta has evolved a highly individual style, deeply contemporary in its sensibilities. His paintings are best known for realistic urban landscapes. His brush stroke speaks of many things: the hustle and bustle of modern city life, figurative movements, festive seasons, seascapes and lakes, the time endured old railway steam engine, tropical desert, and the many moods of nature; where fluid moments are brilliantly captured by the artist. He has also gained recognition for his surrealistic paintings. His youthful exuberance and his wide-eyed optimism reflect in the paintings. He has a fine sense of composition with an eye for subtle details and a tactile sense of monsoon atmospherics. Ananta has shown with considerable skill, how in the presence of rain, human activities are endowed with a special beauty. His water colors are bright and sensuous but their atmosphere evokes a strange mysteriousness.
His sketchy use of acrylic and oil, lends his figure vitality and fluidity of motion with surface wrinkles; his color and tonal compositions set up a dynamic encounter in a neutral space fraught with ambiguity. Impression with different textures, adds to the meaning and depth of an artwork; contrast of transparent areas, set against thick, solid paint with varying intensity of strokes, gives surface, a palpable quality.
Mandal has continuously supported being part of fund raising charity art shows in numerous NGO and charitable trust in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Dubai, London etc. These organizations are committed to raising fund to fight against cancer, women education, child rights and special needs and many others social norms. His notable contributions include auction and many other prestigious charitable art show like participating in the fund raising art exhibition for the Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust by Priya Dutt, NGO CRY, Indian Cancer Society, Cancer Patients Aid Association, SNF Development Center. Mandal's artworks are also given to many art auctions to help raise money for social cause.
Ananta is a member of numerous art organizations, including Member of The Pennsylvania Watercolor Society 2012-13, San Diego Watercolor Society, U.S.A. - 2008-09, Philadelphia Water Color Society, U.S.A. - 2008-09. Life Member of the Bombay Art Society, the Art Society of India, Mumbai.
Besides involving himself in Workshops, he also keeps himself busy in making experimental films based on paintings, Video Installations. Among his various passions, Photography also has a place.
His works can be viewed in numerous public and private collections worldwide.
The artist who has always been miles away from limelight is a special feast to the eyes of art lovers.
I always paint impressionistic and surrealistic way. I feel a moment or visualize some idea and paint it so that, others can also feel the same. Art for me is pure form of emotion. I personally believe, whatever you feel, the mood and atmosphere, the inner mind starts developing that strongly into a painting. If you can feel the subject it becomes easier to paint. I don't levy any rules and regulations for my artworks. It happens many a times when I just follow my instinct, impulse which arouses me to paint. The painting captures my flowing life-energy through all those strokes and colors. It's like a meditation.
For me, drawing is the mother of painting. Many experts can guide how and where to start a painting, but it's you who decides where to finish it. No-one can teach you the finishing touch. It only depends on the artist's inner voice.
Whatever the situation has come and gone, neither painting has ever left me nor have I left art. My art expresses me till day.