Updated: Feb 26
I was born colourblind, but today colours have given me life. My family doesn’t have any artistic background, infact my dad is a watchman and mom’s a homemaker. I live in rural Pune, my roots belong to the city of Kolhapur, and we have loads of open space in front of our house. As a kid, I used to take pieces of charcoal from kitchen and draw sketches on the walls using them. And, this is how my parents came to know about my interest in art.
My mom recognized my potential and encouraged me to draw more. But we could never actually afford any proper art training for me. I started participating in local competitions and slowly got a few orders. I would buy more art supplies with the prize money that I would win. From charcoal, my interest shifted to oil colours. I read about the great masters of Art. I admired the styles of the great Rembrandt and Michelangelo. After doing more than hundreds of art competitions, exhibitions and camps; last year I applied for the prestigious Florence Academy Of Art, Italy’s Summer Scholarship Art Contest. Only three artists are selected from all over the world, and I consider myself grateful to be on that third position. I got to attend the “Advanced Portrait” Workshop of one month in the Florence, Italy Campus.
I won the prize, but it seemed difficult to fetch it. But as they say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” My family and friends among all the other wellwishers stood up for me. I would specially like to mention three people – Amit Parikh Sir, Ashwani Bhakoo sir and Raju Dabir Sir. These three are my guardian angels, who left no stone unturned in helping me realise my dream and go to Italy. I will never forget that time in my life.
Speaking about my experience at the Florence Academy of Art, what could have possibly taken me 5 years to learn here, I got to learn everything in just a month there. Florence is the Mecca for art lovers. Where ever you go, you find art. The city speaks and remembers the great European Masters of Art till date. And, with Florence Academy being one of the oldest and the finest schools all over the world, I got only the best. Trained models for practise, temperature control, fully-equipped artist studio, natural light and the best quality art material where some of the world’s best professor’s taught.
My residence was just next to the studio-which was bigger than some of the halls where I put my exhibition, so I would spend all my days exploring it to my fullest. The city gave me memories for a lifetime, and lessons I can never forget. From the airport, to my room, I loved every inch of it. I had never seen a place as clean as Florence ever. The only thing I missed there was the dal-chawal my mom makes.
Recently, I also won the 60th State Art Exhibition Competition organised by the Government of Maharashtra for my painting – ‘The Hardworker’. Seeing the current scenario, I can surely say, art has a wide scope, if only one is dedicated and passionate enough to give in all it takes to be the best.
Blog written after a brief meeting with the artist.
If you know any more such inspiring artists, we would love to hear their stories !
Till then, #stayrad