Acknowledged by the Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi himself, for the naturalistic paintings of Indian railway platforms, artist Bijay Biswal began his art journey by making lines in the sand, sketching images, and painting signboards in his hometown in Central Orissa. A sense of aesthetics is god-gifted, but the skill of creating art is earned, nurtured, and developed by the artist himself. Biswal believes that as a child, the goal of making art is not to gain popularity, or be good at it, the process is done only for the happiness one derives from it. Though he does not prefer the tag of being a “self-taught artist”, Bijay Biswal’s journey from picking jobs to afford oil paint and art materials to becoming the brand ambassador of Winsor and Newton Art Company, and a world-renowned self-taught artist, is nothing short of inspiring.
Life-size artworks from Bijay Biswal depict the splendor of India’s rich cultural heritage and ancient tales from the pages of Hindu texts. According to him, these divine stories flow in the blood of every Indian, who is introduced to gods and goddesses through the stories they hear from their grandmother and mother. Biswal attempts to bring his visions of heavenly beings- Krishna, Shiva, Devi, and Ganesha onto the canvas to provide his audience with a fresh view of their persona. Minute physical and characteristic details of deities are included in their images, for example- Krishna is described as having lotus feet (Charana-Kamala), an attribute which is shown by the delicate drawing of lotus vines on Krishna’s body.
In this way, Biswal represents the ideas from Indian scriptures and culture in a spellbinding innovative manner. During the recent pandemic, the necessary evil of distance among people inspired Biswal to create paintings of Sri Rama’s Vanavasa (exile), to visually narrate the condition of people stranded away from their loved ones.
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