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Contemporary Indian Art

Vivek Kumavat

Vivek Kumavat's paintings honor the bull’s majestic spirit and cultural significance through Nandi, the sacred bull calf and gatekeeper of Lord Shiva. Raised in a small town surrounded by domesticated animals, Vivek has always been drawn to the bull for its strength, gentleness and special importance not only in Indian mythology but in popular Zodiac astrology. The bull, as both a holy figure and a practical worker, radiates positivity and health.

In each of the artist’s compositions, one or multiple Nandis are the central focus of the canvas, tossing their noble heads and joyfully prancing. Their muscular bodies and lively spirits emphasize their physical and mental endurance. As their gestures reflect human expressions, Vivek hopes that his Nandis will encourage people to develop their own inner perseverance and contentment.

In his cheerful palette of red, orange, gold, yellow and blue, Vivek also incorporates Pattachitra, a traditional form of scroll-painting that originated in the eastern states of Orissa and West Bengal. Pattachitra involves fine detail work to illustrate mythological narratives and folktales. On the skin of the Nandis, Vivek uses a rotring pen to tell intricate stories of Shiva, including his marriage ceremony with Parvati, the creation of Ganesh and his essential relationship with Nandi. Prayer at Shiva’s temple is incomplete without reverence to Nandi, and it is said that Nandi will listen to people’s wishes and communicate them to the Lord.

Vivek received his BFA from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. He has exhibited throughout India as well as in Dubai, London and Singapore.

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Sreekanth Kurve

Artist Sreekanth Kurva’s highly decorated animals carve out a distinctive niche in the Indian art world. Much of his rare depiction of animals such as goats, rabbits, bulls and roosters find their origins in the time he spent growing up in the old city in Hyderabad. Years later he continues to re-create his observations using rich color and texture on canvas. He successfully brings out human-like expressions from his animals, a feature which the viewer finds irresistible.  He captures their spirit, their moods and their passion in a way that is easy for the viewer to relate to and find evocative.

His current group of paintings are very unique for their mixed media collages which consist of swatches of vibrant, rich fabrics (raw silk, banarasi silk, Kutch work) and acrylic paint on canvas.  

Kurva completed his bachelor’s degree from JNTU in Hyderabad and his masters from MS University in Baroda.  He has several group and solo shows across India to his credit.

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Waiting at the bus stand

Kandi Narsimlu

Lipstick and bindis, amulets and jewelry, sarees and shopping bags—Kandi Narsimlu’s subjects
represent the contemporary within the rural milieus of Telangana. His women are large eyed,
slender, sexual. The men smart, sharp, serious. Always the clothes are a riot of color, depicting
the visual splendor of rural India.

Kandi is an accomplished artist, having won several awards, including a gold medal from the
Hyderabad Art Society in 2011. He has exhibited at 30+ individual and group shows across India.
His works occupy pride of place in several private and public collections including the Rajiv
Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. He has an MFA from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture
and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad. In addition to acrylic on canvas, Kandi has also worked on
fiberglass sculptures and abstracts.

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Iruvan Karunakaran

Artist Iruvan Karunakaran captures India’s daily life and its silent magic like no one else. Whether it is a decorated bull or a city street in the rains, Iruvan’s depictions use crisp light and shade to achieve an almost photo-realistic effect. And these are no mundane images: his use of the palette knife gives these scenes a texture and an energy that transforms the viewer to a participant in the scene. The grand sweep, color and flow of life in India come alive in Iruvan’s works.

Born in the temple town of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Iruvan captures the timeless quality of village life and the pace of modern city life in his works.

Having graduated with a BFA from the Government College of Arts & Crafts, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, Iruvan worked for eight years in animation before becoming a ‘full-time’ artist.

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S. H. Raza

Sayed Haider "S. H." Raza was a renowned Indian artist who lived in France since 1950, while still maintaining close ties with India.

He is known for his colorful abstracts, and his use of Indian icons and philosophy.

He is a recipient of the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. He was also conferred with the highest French civilian honor, the Commandeur de la Legion d'honneur (Legion of Honor).

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M. F. Husain

Maqbool Fida Husain is the most celebrated and internationally recognized Indian artist of the 20th century. He was one of the founding members of the Bombay Progressive Artists Group. His themes include topics as diverse as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the British raj, and motifs of Indian life. Early in his painting career, and until his death, he enjoyed depicting the lively and free spirit of horses in many of his works. He was also a film-maker, his popular film ‘Gaja Gamini’ with Madhuri Dixit was of them. He was member of the Indian Parliament from 1986 to 1992. He spent his last remaining years between Dubai, Doha and London. M F Husain passed away in London in 2011.

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Bharti Prajapati

Bharti trained as a textile designer at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad and Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai. After 10 years of textile designing, she took to painting; something she always passionate about.

The themes of her paintings range from Krishna and Kabir, to women, specifically their connection with nature and their surroundings. The inspiration for some of her works comes from the women of Kutch in Gujarat, whom she studied while at NID. Her works use vivid, vibrant colors showcasing her women against the barren, dry hue of the Kutch desert.


Bharti has had numerous shows in India, and abroad including New York, London and Singapore. In her words: My journey as a painter is a reflection of my own journey in life and my paintings will always have a part of me waiting to be discovered from within the layers of paint and shades of colors.

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Seema Kohli

Seema Kohli is a multi-talented, deeply spiritual senior artist. Each painting is layered with multiple stories and motifs anchored in Indian mythology and spirituality. The use of silver leaf and 24 carat gold lend a richness to her works. The ‘Golden Womb’ series is very close to her heart. Her creative expression spans paintings, murals, performances and sculptures. She has exhibited in Venice, Melbourne, London, New York, Dubai, Singapore and several cities in India.

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Ramesh Gorjala

Ramesh Gorjala's traditional images are drawn from the narrative and iconic paintings of Kalamkari from the town of Sri Kalahasti, near Tirupati. His work depicts the multilayered imagery of gods, goddesses, demons and mythical creatures. Ramesh graduated in Fine Arts from JNTU in Hyderabad.

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Sumana Chowdhury

Sumana Chowdhury is originally from Shillong and grew up in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. She completed her BFA and MFA from the acclaimed art school at Santineketan (Kala Bhavan, Vishwabharati University) before spending a year in England studying art. She paints across multiple mediums including oil, acrylic and watercolors. Her series titled ‘Seascapes’ is especially captivating. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in New York City.

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Shankar Gojare

Shankar studied art at Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune, India. HIs paintings exude a certain level of dynamism and 'action', with a very vibrant, unusual mix of colors that support the movement in the painting. His themes revolve around musical instruments, dance, bulls and many nuances of rural life and festivals in Maharashtra.

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Basuki Das Gupta

Basuki has done his BFA (painting) and MFA (mural painting) from Santiniketan-Visva Bharati, a leading art school founded by Rabindranath Tagore. He is also a visiting faculty at the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar. His paintings are ‘textured’ – he uses hard board, paper pulp and thick acrylic paint to achieve that effect. Many of the themes are very women centric. He paints on elements of nature and abstracts as well.

Read Pavani Kaushik's article in India Currents on Basuki Das Gupta.

View a two minute video on Basuki Das Gupta's unique mixed media technique.

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Sudip Roy

Sudip Roy’s 'Charulata' series are a masterpiece. His inspiration has been Satyajit Ray's Charulata. His paintings are undeniably sensual - the etchings at the side of the main figure, where the texture of the skin is developed in so many different strokes results in an interesting interplay of simplicity, sensuality and sophistication.

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Sachin Jaltare

Sachin worked for several years as a commercial artist for advertising agencies before he decided to take the plunge and become a full-time professional artist.

'Shiva' and 'Shakti' form the basic core of his works.  His compositions are a blend of the figurative and the abstract, of charcoal textures and soft hues, of the sensuous and the symbolic. The female forms depict divine energy, and the monkey is the wandering mind.

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Anuradha Thakur

Anuradha’s painting titled ‘Ethnic Serendipity’ hangs in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office. Her paintings are anchored in Indian tribal rituals and traditions from many States. She has exhibited her works in India and abroad and was recently chosen among the top 100 Women Achievers in the category of Art and Culture in India by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

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Jagannath Paul

Jagannath Paul completed his Bachelor of Visual Arts from Government College of Art and Crafts in Kolkata in 2000. Human faces dominate Jagannath's works – his faces are mysterious and wistful; his compositions strike a deeper chord where mystery and reality come together.

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Nishant Dange

Nishant’s paintings are mysterious, subtle and captivating. His ‘women’ are sensual, innocent, bold, sensitive, all at once. He sees an analogy between the various life stages of the butterfly and of women. Both are fragile yet strong; both are symbols of beauty and both go through many different changes, some painful, in their lifetime, only to merge stronger and more beautiful.

He makes use of charcoal and acrylic in his works making them very dramatic and striking.

Nishant has done his BFA from Chitrakala Mahavidyalaya in Nagpur and is a Gold Medalist.

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Sujata Achrekar

Sujata Achrekar is well known for her paintings of faces – faces of the 'Brahmin Brahmacharis'. Her bold rendering of the faces, along with exceptionally bright colors and skillful use of ‘Devnagri’ letters, has made her works very striking.

Sujata lives in Mumbai, India and taught at the prestigious Sir J.J. School of Art.

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Umakant Tawde

There are Buddhas and Buddhas on the art circuit; and then there are Umakant Tawde's Buddhas. Umakant lives in the tumult that is Mumbai and creates in his paintings a serenity, a meditative state, a 'one-pointedness'.  He has graduated with a BFA from the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Arts in Mumbai.

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Fawad Tamkanat

Fawad is the son of well-known Urdu poet, Shaz Tamkanat. His recent works are “the street culture series” where he is out on the streets of Hyderabad, clicking pictures, observing people and thus creating many stories.  He has also spent some time in Denmark in printmaking workshops with distinguished Danish printmakers.

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Om Swami

Om Swami is a self-taught artist and has no formal education in art.  He is very well known for his “Ganeshas’ and they are truly vibrant, colorful and 'happy'. Another subject that is close to his heart is the 'Mood' series - it depicts couples in moments of togetherness and bliss.

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Laxman Aelay

Laxman Aelay’s canvases depict the rural life that he left behind. His figures, drawn in ink, are mainly those of rural women, sturdy and tough, representing the notion that women are the stronger sex. They run their homes, raise their families, till their fields, making the male almost marginal.

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Sumit Roy

Sumit Roy is an emerging young artist and is currently studying Art at the prestigious MS University, Baroda. His passions include art, music and photography.

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Thota Vaikuntam

T. Vaikuntam is a very senior, legendary artist from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. Growing up as a child, he would illustrate male characters from the local theatre groups in his village. He likes using rich primary colors, which give a sense of character and depth to his paintings.

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