Jayasri Burman, as an artist chooses to depict everyday reality of Indian life, and she does so successfully- the effusive blend of the quaint charm and magic of folklore with the starkness of reality is a remarkable one, indeed. As she herself says- "On starry nights, while we sat on the terrace, our elders would relate mythological stories and all those characters would mesh into themes that emerged as art motifs in my work. Now, when I am asked where I get my mythological references for my work, my answer is that they do not coincide with any authentic narrative but are figments of my childhood imagination that have surfaced on the canvas as figures and forms that I paint."
Jayasri Burman was born in an aesthetically inclined Bengali Family in 1960. Her uncle Sakti Burman is a renowned Bengali painter and so is her cousin, Maya Burman. She studied art at the Kala Bhavan in Shantiniketan, and then pursued a degree from Visual College of Art, Kolkata. At the insistence of her uncle she went to Paris and studied print-making under Monsieur Ceizerzi.When she came back to Calcutta she found herself being categorised though patronisingly, under the exclusive community of “Women Painters”. Jayasri Burman learnt an important lesson very early in life- unless she does anything about it , in the male dominated world of Indian Painting,she will always be a “woman painter” or a “paintress”. She decided to let her work speak for her. And so it did, more eloquantly than any spoken word could ever have.
Jayasri Burman is one of the few painters who have chosen watercolor as their medium, using rich strong hues and bold themes with a mythic element the createes magic with watercolors. Her paintings abound with strange hybrid animals with human heads, female figures. Her feminine forms are sensous ones clad in everyday garments but exhibiting an overwhelming sensuality. The flowers in the hair, the kohl lined eyes and the casually draped sari, all combine to make her female figures almost olfactorally feminine and not just biologically female. The male figures beautifully complement the female ones; the portrayals are to give the man-woman relationship a definite palpability. The mundanity of human partnership is depicted with much tenderness.
Jayasri Burman has won several prizes for her art. Her work has been exhibited in India, and overseas.