A short review about SM Sultan: Art and Life


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    Published on Aug 27, 2020
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    How many internationally renowned painters have been born in Bangladesh? One was obviously SM Sultan. There are hardly any literary-artistic people who have not heard his name. But very few people know about him. Today I will discuss some aspects of his life and art.

    When it comes to Bangladeshi painters, the name that comes inevitably is Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. We are proud of the fact that this talented artist was born in our country. However, we are especially proud of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin as well as another name .. He is SM Sultan.

    If we want to judge according to the traditional grammar .. then there will be no other painter in this country near the quality of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin .. He can be said to be our Rabindranath Tagore of painting. Yeah. Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin has a similar position and contribution in art as like as the tagore in Bengali literature, especially in poetry.

    But Kazi Nazrul has moved closer to Rabindranath in popularity due to his exceptional style. His life is like a poem .. or a wonderful novel! Due to his characteristic features and unique sense of life, he occupies a special place in the minds of the people of this country .. That is why the name of Rabindranath is often mentioned along with the name of Nazrul .. Although Rabindranath is skyrocketing in terms of literary genius .. No.
    In the same way, like Nazrul, as a unique genre and unconventional artist in painting, S.M. Sultan. Yes, from a theoretical point of view, Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin may be at the very top .. but SM Sultan has broken the conventional tradition and represented the culture of this country in the world court in his own style so beautifully .. that is why his name has to be pronounced differently.

    It's a lot like Pele and Maradona .. If you look at the statistics, it's Pele obviously the best , even a lot better than Maradona .. And a lot of talented footballers with better statistics than Maradona was there .. But the name of the best footballer of all time has been mentioned all over the world .. Along with Pele, Maradona's name has come up. This is possible not only because of the statistics .. but also because of his own personality and different style of playing.

    In the same way we can say, if you consider Zainul Abedin as pele in the painting industry of this country .. then SM Sultan is the Maradona of painting in Bangladesh. Why? - You can understand that from the discussion below ..

    When we look at foreign paintings .. especially medieval European paintings .. there is a special presence of Greek gods .. and in the case of classical art some special physical features of Greek and Roman gods have become widely used. All artists have been following it since the Middle Ages. Muscular body .. Slightly long .. Hair thick, black, curly .. Skin tight .. Skin color reddish brown.

    They used to put lumps of flesh on the bones in such a way .. like a tough body to do gym!

    So when we see a body painted with such features, we are reminded of the Greek gods. The work that SM Sultan has done .. He has come up with the traditional anatomy of the Greek mythology while drawing the life of the peasants, porters and low-income struggling people of this country.

    Maybe the farmer is sowing paddy in the land .. He has drawn the muscles of his hands and feet in such a way .. It seems as if the Greek gods have just come down from the sky and are working in the fields of this country.

    It was established by Sultan in painting in Bangladesh. This has created an extraordinary fusion of Greek mythology with the millennial culture of this country. Whenever we see peasants or fishermen in the physical constitution of the muscular Greek gods .. their lives are magnified before our eyes! In fact, the so-called lower class people of the society are the real artisans of our society. And the swollen muscles remind us of their hard life struggles.

    The Sultan's explanation was as follows:

    The people of our country are very sick, farmers. Absolutely a farmer, he is also very thin, he has two cows, two oxen - that too is thin .... [Their being strong in my picture] is a matter of the mind. As much as I love them from the bottom of my heart, it was the peasant community of our country that built the British Empire. They are the ones who provide the finances. ... and this zamindar, king is no less than our country. Everyone is a son of the same nation dependent on agriculture. The giant body of the farmer in my giant pictures raises the question, why are they thin in reality? Why are they sick - those who feed us. The crop grows.

    Thus no one before the Sultan could have imagined. The artist Sultan was not only an artist in his brush, he also shaped his life in the mold of art. In movement, even in appearance, he was no more than ten people .. unusually tall .. lean body .. long hair .. keen vision .. gave a different personality to his physical appearance.

    SM Sultan is an exceptional character
    Even personal popularity and international recognition could not change him. He was often discovered by fans on the side of the road .. sitting on the sidewalk to draw pictures .. or sitting on dilapidated tongs to have tea. He had many dreams about children .. he wanted to do something different. He built a boat at a cost of 12 lakh rupees at that time, where children can come and draw as they wish.

    All these works have further increased the interest of the people towards him. Here are some of the strangest aspects of his life:

    he sometimes wore sari like a girl and danced with her legs crossed. . .

    His house was full of snakes. . .

    He loved to feed cats, many cats roamed around the house. . .

    Sometimes he would go to the forest to spend the night alone. . .

    Often seen, he would draw a picture over a long period of time and hard work, but would leave it there. Thus many valuable paintings have been lost. .

    His real name was Lal Mia, art critic Shahed Suhrawardy changed his name to Sheikh Mohammad Sultan or SM Sultan. . .

    after exhibiting about 20 painting exhibitions with around the world with Picasso, Salvador Dali and other world famous artists, he returned to the country in 1953. He did not get a job, only because he had no formal education.

    A big problem of our country is .. We do not evaluate our talents in their lifetime .. That is why many talented artists-literary do not get their real evaluation in their lifetime. SM Sultan is one of them .. but he is still alive today in all his extraordinary works of art .. will live on for generations.

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