Chauffeur-turned-artist exhibits works with mentor
New Delhi : When Rama Ratan came to the city as a boy of eight, little did he know that he would grow up to become an artist whose paintings will find audience from across the globe.
Ratan who works as a chaffeur by the day, began his artistic journey, after the family he stays with noticed his exceptional artistic skills and encouraged him to pursue his passion.
Since then, he has been expressing freely on the canvas and creating artworks, under the guidance of Delhi-based artist Kavita Chopra Dikshit.
Ratan’s artworks, which were displayed at a recent studio show here, portrays the hardships he faced in life. His ‘Untitled’ paintings draw memories of the village he once lived in.
“I came from Sultanpur at a very early age. Being an illiterate, there was nothing much I could make out from my life. But when I came across colours and a painting brush, I felt the need to express myself,” he says.
With simple lines, vibrant colours and evocative brush strokes, the artist captures rural themes, the sun being a recurrent object in his works.
“The village life drew me closer to the nature. I remember those lush green fields, trees and chirping birds. These paintings are an abstract of what all serves as memories of my village life,” he says.
Dikshit, who has photographed many luminaries including Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Kuldip Nayyar, Shovana Narayan among others finds comfort in the ‘ordinary’ while painting.
Her artworks at the show, which she says, are a work in progress, include paintings from two series of artworks: ‘O My God’ which has paintings of different religious deities and, “abstracts” that capture the essence of an ordinary way of life.
The acrylic series titled “Mohalla” comprises of compositions inspired from the mundane lives lived in narrow Indian streets.
“Mohallas in India are cramped urban spaces which enclose in themselves a very colourful life. There is hustle bustle of crowded markets, different sounds which attract me. So, the feeling that I get at the end of it finds space on the canvass,” says Dikshit.
She has been a filmmaker for several years, but it is since 2009 that she has been painting professionally. She is inspired by the colour schemes of legendary painters like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, which reflects in two of her paintings at the show.
Titled “Mayanagri”, the painting in vibrant hues of red and blue showcases fascinating scenes on the banks of Ganga in Beneras.
“I have been to Varanasi only twice. But, it has been visually fascinating for me. I have tried to capture an overall mood of the place,” she says.
The paintings are open for viewing with appointment at the studio in GK-II.