Jack Bell Gallery is pleased to present a group show of studio photography from India and studio background paintings from Bangladesh.
Manoj Joshi is a third generation studio photographer from northwest India. Approximately once a year desert tribes from the surrounding provinces make the journey into town to have their portraits taken. Family and friends crowd into the little space where Manoj employs the work of accomplished background painters and a rich array of props to transport the subjects into fantastic other worlds. The traditional desert garb of his subjects resonates against the painted Metropolis and rich colour of exotic, Eden-like gardens. Today, Manoj runs a unique practice using traditional film techniques while many of his contemporaries have now gone digital.
Kajal Kanti Dey and Devi are Bangladeshi artists working primarily for local photographic studios. Their background paintings – similar to those seen in the photographs of Manoj Joshi – imagine idealised urban landscapes depicting wealth and modernity.