Chandra Bhattacharjee was born to an idealist father, a patriot by calling and a teacher by profession, often held in prison by the British colonialists; and a tough and practical mother, who had to bring up her many children without a steady livelihood. Helping his mother in this job was Chandra’s widowed aunt, street-smart, a mistress of improvisations, who would conjure meals for the children almost out of thin air. Chandra grew up observing the brilliance of these two toiling, yet-not-unhappy women. They were the stoic stars of his growing up years.
Somewhere in the thin atmosphere of his childhood home was birthed Chandra’s unlikely vision of himself as a practising artist. He never really confided in anyone. His wispy vision got sealed in steel and remained his secret.
For decades now, he has been living physically away from those times and lives. He works out of his studio in Kolkata. His medium is largely acrylic, conti, oil on canvas.
Chandra was born in 1960. He graduated from the Indian College, of Art and Draughtsmanship with a first class in 1986. He received a gold medal from Rabindra Bharati University in 1986 for excellence in fine arts. He was honoured with the Taj Gaurav award in 2008. He had started his career as a billboard artist.
He has held 16 solo shows so far. The last show, Wired, was with Gallery Veda, Chennai in late 2012. The other shows have been with Galerie 88, Kolkata; The Gallery in Cork Street, London, in collaboration with Threshold Art; Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi; Sumukha Art Gallery, Bangalore; Gallery Beyond, Mumbai; Art Heritage, New Delhi; among others.
His works have part of auctions held by Art For Humanity, Art Chennai, Emami Chisel, Bonhams, Apparaoart and Saffronart.
He has been a part of many national and international art workshops and curated group expositions. He has been a regular at the India Art Fair, Art Chennai and has participated in Art Singapore; A few among his group shows are Divergent Horizons, Lalit Kala, Chennai; When High and Low art meet, Art Alive, curated by Rupika Chawla; Art Celebrates 2010, New Delhi; Cross currents, curated by Sushma Bahl; 10X10, Threshold; SNOW, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Palette Art Gallery; Life is a Stage, ICIA, Mumbai; Gaze Within, Gaze Without, Gandhara Art Gallery, Kolkata; 20 Years of Indian Contemporary Art, Gallery Muller & Plate, Munich; Just One, Artco Galerie, Germany; Indien Garten der Kunste, Aalen, Artco Galerie, Germany; Adana Biennale, Turkey; Imprints, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo; Diverse Idioms, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre; Power of Peace, Bali, The United Nations; XI Indian Triennale India; Ways of Seeing, Art Alive, Delhi; Indian Contemporaray Art, Sumukha-Quayside Gallery, London; Nude Studies, The Guild. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Bengal Modern Art, Arts Acre Foundation, Kolkata; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Art;
Govt Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, among others.
He lives and works in Kolkata.