Monday, May 9, 2022

'A COVID ICU': A Covid 19 Painting - A 'REAL LIFE' Covid-19 ICU Room Experience


COVID19 painting kaustav Mukherje

This big medical painting is in line with all the historic medical paintings done by past master artists such as Thomas Eikins, Rembrandt, Luciano Nezzo, Ugo Matania, Emma Mieville et al. This one-of-a-kind image is a depiction of a Covid ICU, where medics were busy at work despite all the dangers attached to it. There is no other known COVID painting in the world that involves first-hand experience of a Covid ICU and the situation. It shows the global crisis of this era in its actuality.

I conceived the idea when I was extremely ill with Coronavirus in July 2020. I could barely move my body on the bed and could not breath due severe pneumonia. It took me 22 days in the hospital to recover; during that time I planned the painting. I took the opportunity to create this medical painting to get an inside view of an ICU, treatment procedure etc. through taking numerous photo references, mobile app sketches of the doctor’s poses, equipment, treatment procedure, patients’ postures etc. The first draft of the painting itself was constructed while being in the ICU and later developed further after being released.

Even when the doctors were not sure about my situation, I found new strength (my wife recovered much earlier). I was thinking whether I could use my mind, eyes and hands to make that time useful and create something that would represent the time in which we lived.

I started drawing the medical people with mobile drawing apps, taking numerous photos of the ICU and started constructing the painting at that point. Poses were all taken from life while they were doing their dangerous job. This image is a depiction of a Covid ICU, where medics are busy with work without any sentimentality attached to it, caring for patients, working on the basis of data and observation. 

Although this painting shows only the medical side, this is also a tribute to the ones who were involved in other fields, while they were at risk themselves! 

Some of the preparatory sketches below: 

Mobile App Scribbles for Visualization

First Draft


Color Experimentation

First Oil Sketch, 9X12 Inches

This piece was exhibited at All India  Fine Arts and Crafts Society on 6th May 2022. The painting received a lot of praise from everyone including the AIFACS vice-president Biman Bihari Das and Imran HussainMinister of Food and Civil Supplies and Election, New Delhi. Here are some shots:

Covid19 painting

Covid19 painting

AIFACS Chairman, Padma Shri Biman Bihari Das
Coronavirus painting

Imran HussainMinister of Food and Civil Supplies and Election, New Delhi