Through his paintings, he depicts the life of the average middle-class Bengali - their aspirations, superstitions, hypocrisy and corruption, and even the violence that is endemic to Kolkata. He worked on all mediums - oil, acrylic, water-color, conte and collage. His ability to penetrate and portray the inner psychological undercurrents makes him one of India's most powerful contemporary artist.
Bikash Bhattacharya is credited for bringing back realism into Indian art at a time when the artists in India were leaning more towards distortion of figures and abstraction. Besides painting the city and its people that he knew so well, Bhattacharjee is also an accomplished portrait painter. Realism is Bhattacharjee's forte. In the process, he explores the possibilities of oil as a medium to the extent that he could depict the exact quality of drapery or the skin tone of a woman, the moldering walls of an old building as if by magic. He also achieves mastery in capturing the quality of light. His love of cinema had a lot to do with this. Bhattacharjee has also worked extensively with pastel.
At his best Bhattacharjee achieves an enigmatic quality in his paintings that works on many levels from the visual to the subconscious. Female beauty is a major preoccupation of Bhattacharjee. But he also creates a varied cast of characters in his canvases- old men and women, children, domestic help. The ability to create an authentic milieu as a background to the characters heightens the drama. Bhattacharjee also excels in his animal studies.
Bikash Bhattacharya has painted in almost all known media, oil, water color, gouache, pastel . But it is paintings in oil that has drawn the maximum attention. Bikash worked in realistic technique playing with light and shade. Bikash had been deeply influenced by the surrealists and indeed he has went on record stating that Salvador Dalí had been his favourite painter. In Bikash’s paintings, he infuses imaginary surrealist themes in realistic set up. Thus though in terms of techniques, Bikash is a realist, his themes can be best described as surrealist.