A self-taught artist, poet, storyteller, and an active member of the Communist Party of India, Chittaprosad drew inspiration for his art from village sculptors, artisans as well as puppeteers. In 1943-44, he experienced the Bengal famine first-hand, resulting in his brutally honest depiction of human suffering in stark drawings and sketches made in pen and ink. These drawings and reports were published in People’s War, and culminated in Hungry Bengal, an eyewitness report comprising of written text and profuse sketches in stark black-and-white, copies of which were seized and destroyed by the British.
Powerful and emotive, his art of caricature emerged as a statement in favour of the oppressed masses and as a denunciation of the ruling class. As a self-conscious, reflective testimony, the drawings and caricatures of this period were a forceful outcry against the tyranny of domination and an indictment of prevailing conditions. Underlying the biting humour was a compassionate humanism and his images were essentially an appeal on behalf of the labouring poor and the marginalised.
Apart from his body of works representing human suffering, the proletariat and the marginalised classes, Chittaprosad did several landscapes and cityscapes, portraits, female figures, nudes and illustrations for books. A defining moment in Chittaprosad’s life was his meeting with Frantisek Salaba, a Czech puppeteer, who lived briefly in Bombay, and because of whose association, a film on his life, Confession was made in 1972 by Pavel Hoble, which went on to win a special prize from the World Peace Council.