‘Difficult to publish work on Michelangelo Antonioni’

Kolkata, Sep 20 (IANS) Ace photographer Nemai Ghosh breaks into a smile as he is reminded of being the link between two of world cinema’s greatest auteurs-Satyajit Ray and Michelangelo Antonioni. Despite his famed repertoire and laurels, Ghosh still finds it difficult to publish his work.

Famed for his still photography work with Ray for over two decades, Ghosh has come out with exclusive photographs of the filmmaker that portray his skills as a painter.

Ghosh, the Padma Shri recipient, captured Antonioni while painting in a visit to Rome in 2006.

He was invited at an exhibition of Antonioni’s paintings to mark his 94th birthday on September 29.

Ghosh documented the “L’Avventura” (The Adventure), “La Notte” (The Night), “The Passenger” maker’s little known tryst with the brush.

The photos are being showcased at the ‘From Films to Paintings’ exhibition at the Harrington Street Arts Centre here till September 26.

“I have been holding onto these pictures since 2006. I have some 100 to 150 photographs of Antonioni and his wife Enrica,” Ghosh told IANS at the inaugural of the exhibition on Saturday.

“The 19 photographs in the exhibition will eventually form a book. I want to publish more but who will publish them? It is difficult to find publishers,” he added.

The unseen photographs also include black-and-white pictures of Antonioni’s visit to Kolkata in the 1990s. Captured photographs also are poignant moments of Antonioni and Enrica’s love for each other.

“I had first met the couple during their stay at the Taj Bengal in Kolkata. A decade later, their hospitality during my stay in Rome was warm and welcoming. Enrica was always by his side,” remembers Ghosh who photographed Antonioni sketching in his studio overlooking the river Tiber.

Antonioni died in 2007 but for Ghosh, from one legend to another, it has always been a humbling experience.

“First it all started with Ray. His guidance and affection has been with me all the way. Photographing Antonioni with his paintings was another milestone for me,” the octagenarian concedes, adding he is not inclined to share his work online.

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