From Osama to Shahrukh, museum of busts has all

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Howrah, Apr 20 (UNI) His passion, practice and perseverance has made him a perfectionist in clay busts which he proudly displays in his one-room musuem.

Uttam Kumar Ray, a resident of Bally in the neighbouring Howrah district, does not have any degree in fine arts or any tutor to teach him clay modelling but the art is in his blood. He has turned his small room into a museum displaying 200 miniature clay busts.

So far Ray has chiselled out miniature busts of several renowned personalities, starting from Rabindra Nath Tagore to author William Beckett.

Not only his small museum of 10 x 10 ft accomodates busts of Osama Bin Laden, which Ray has sculpted from sheer imagination, his works also has leaders like George W Bush and actors like Shah Rukh Khan. His work also includes eroticas.

Ray is not a professional and uses one match stick, tiny chisel, pencil and nails as instruments to cut out a perfect figure. Most of the figures are just of six inches.

''Since the age of seven, I have been working with clay. Then I used to make small toys and some figures of gods and godesses. Now I have a huge collection and hope to see my name in world records for making the largest museum of miniature clay busts,'' an enthusiast Ray told UNI.

To preserve the texture and give the figures a glossy look, Ray gives a finishing touch with Touchwood.

''I have no mentor. I want my media friends to help me get support from either the government or some art lovers, who can help me in my project. I don't have enough funds to advertise or publicise my work,'' he added.

With no fixed job to eke out a living, this 35-year-old gives private tutions and the rest of the time he keeps himself engrossed in his small studio.

''This is my world where I spend most of my time. I just need two photographs- a frontal and a profile- to carve out a figure. I am so emotionally attached to my creations that I have not sold a single one so far,'' he said adding that the creations are priceless for him.

Many a times students of fine arts visit Ray's studio and museum to learn his style of working.

However, Ray says there was no particular method in which he worked. His knowlegde of phrenology and skull structure has helped him in constructing the faces.

An admirer and follower of European ideal of realism in art, Ray believes that his figures are so accurate that even a child can recognise the subject.

''I don't believe in abstract art because a true artist is recognised by realistic art,'' Ray quipped.

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