Our nation lost a legendary artist this week. Badri Narayan was not only an artist that drew brilliantly from Indian mythology with works that were laced with symbolism and metaphor but a great story teller. His unicorn’s and mermaid’s were especially attractive to me, and I enjoyed his work greatly.
Right from my early days he was a favorite. In fact the pleasure of reading the Mahabharata and Ramayana illustrated, was unparalleled in my childhood with lyrical visuals from Badri’s imagination. I lived the scenes through his works and his sense of ethereal color. One of the first works I ‘collected’ was as a teenager, it was his typical mermaid which was in translucent watercolors that I grew to love and learn. I first painted with water color inspired by Badri Narayan and later picked up Acrylic.
Badri was an Art Teacher at Bombay International School, and his students loved him. He was famous for his reflective nature and introspective works. Through his life he had fifty solo shows at famed galleries in India and was part of prestigious shows in Tokyo, Paris and Tokyo apart from other Biennale and Triennale’s. A self-taught artist, he came from Secunderabad and wowed the art world with his reflective, multi-layered work that had a two dimensionality that distinguished him.
While he did very story book like wood etchings, wood cuts, ceramics and children’s books, and his watercolors remained my favorites. The fact that his works sold at Christies and other big Auction houses, didn’t change the fact that he was a very hands on, affectionate instructor to his students. Teaching also kept him on his feet always, metaphorically speaking. And yes, his work was laced with stunning, kaleidoscopic mythological metaphor.
We will all miss you deeply Sir. May your art live on for many generations of Indian Art.
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