I am shaped by my experience, memories, and dreams of growing up around animals in urban settings. Besides the many pets my family had, I frequently noticed urban wildlife on the rooftops of buildings, crevices in the sidewalks, and the gaps within abandoned buildings. They are tied to us as we are tied to them. The witnessing of these daily, seemingly insignificant struggles of the urban wildlife as a kid growing up in Brooklyn was fortified with Kipling’s “Just So Stories” and the second “Jungle Book”, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and books about Shark attacks that I obsessed over in the library after school. Animals became heroes and furry, feathered or scaled mentors. I became their savior (if I could) when I found one injured or abandoned…all within the confines of my urban jungle.
The work that I have been making over the years weaves together layer upon layer of translucent imagery of flora, fauna, architecture and corporeal forms. They are created on surfaces that include worn out blueprints, out of date maps, and stained multi-tonal paper. These landscapes relate struggle, convergence, harmony and dissonance. The smaller works are a moment captured in time while the larger paintings are animal allegories - overlapped with a crisp ribbon of color that acts like a narrator’s voice recounting various events. The dense and delicate imagery repeats and blends into pattern from one work to the next; each new painting and drawing continuing to recount and document their existence among us.
Reet Das was born in Bombay and moved to Brooklyn at the age of 3. As an only child of working parents, he spent his time obsessively reading Kipling’s “Just So Stories” and “The Jungle Book”, making collages from circus programs, and was always surrounded by pets of all shapes and sizes. He also had a strong interest in science and knew that there was much more to boys than, “Snips & snails & puppy dog tails”.
Reet consistently made art since childhood and eventually earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Fine Art and Business from Skidmore College and also a Master of Fine Art degree in Photography & Related Media from The School of Visual arts in NYC.
Reet currently lives in Brooklyn with his 3 dogs and works out of his separate art studio. His current paintings and drawings are highly detailed and layered with imagery and color. They are shaped by his childhood experiences & memories, his love of animals & the environment, and the juxtaposition of man & beast.