Fantasy of the 70’s Indian Steam Locomotives

Whether it’s about showcasing of early 70’s Indian railways or celebrating the nostalgia of Indian steam locomotives… It’s a idiosyncratic collections on the series of paintings on steam locomotives by Kishore Pratim Biswas, who is a most popular contemporary Indian artist. Each paintings are representing the daily life of the Indian steam locomotive workshop in 70’s Indian Railways.

“Nostalgia of Indian Steam Locomotives” a series of painting by Kishore Pratim Biswas

Kishore Pratim Biswas was born in 1971 in Kolkata city of joy. His work has been shown in several solo and group exhibitions in Indian and aboard. The artist skillfully combines several versatile techniques. He experiments with different painting styles to continuously improve his skills.

Kishore said “Indian Steam Locomotives had a unusual character which is reflected in my paintings. The colors of the engine was mostly black and gray, the body looks too muddy, dusty and unclean which made the surface a unique look. I never find such an amazing character ever in the world. I liked the ineffable ambient of white steam and black engine which is a dramatic visual experience for me. I was crazy, love to do live painting on watercolor, oil, pen and ink sketch of that.

a watercolor painting by Kishore Pratim Biswas in 1988

For me, it’s a fantasy of the Indian steam locomotives, which doesn’t alive now. In the morning usually I went to locomotives workshop for sketching. Early 90’s, the day was vary sad to me, I saw the engines were disassembled and sending to scrap, since as the steam locomotives was out of date in India. It was shocking experience to me ever before. I was crying, I couldn’t finish the series of painting on Indian Steam Locomotives…”

Every painting have a unique group of locomotives workers which reflects that artist had a close observation of people of Indian Railways of 70’s. Kishore said “I captured the movement of people likes; fireman, signalman, technical man, drivers and other worker from the locomotives workshops. My paintings have always a deep expression of the characters, the faces are beard and too black with a red pagri which looks very unusual.

Kishore is working in his studio, Mumbai, India

Some times, I rode in the engine with the driver… It was remarkable experience. I saw the way of their working style from a close view. The engine was always very hot and they work for long time in there… still they had smiley face”

It’s a glimpse into the lives the fantasy of 70’s Indian railways.

“I’m happy because when I look in the canvas, I don’t compare that to others. Not anymore.
I don’t compare the way I look, the way I feel, the work that I do. I don’t compare my level of happiness. I don’t compare my achievements.
Because I spent years doing that… Years, comparing myself to everyone else…
Nothing makes you feel more miserable than measuring yourself up to someone else and finding yourself lacking.”… Kishore

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Varla Bishop says:

    You do beautiful work. Love the colors.


    1. PICA says:

      Thanks Varla…


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