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Manu Parekh is one of the most eminent contemporary artists of India. He is known for making his point through painting thought-provoking landscapes and strong and bold brushstrokes. He defies the frailties of old age and spends hours at a stretch working in his studio at the age of 80 with the rigor of a young artisan. His latest artwork was organized by Saffronart in Delhi. One may easily access his paintings online. The recent artwork of the modernist seems to be created under heavy western influence. He doesn’t shy away from sharing his views upon Benares, his favorite contemplation.

A true artist takes risks!

The ongoing exhibition displayed work that was the outcome of inner introspection. Manu Parekh used to visit many exhibitions that displayed his work and would take note of people’s reactions. He would study various artworks and how paintings have evolved. He observes that when an artist is working he thinks about the reaction his work would receive from the spectators. He thinks that an artist nevertheless must follow his heart. The paintings that he created in the 60s have found appreciation at the exhibition of which they didn’t get all these years. According to him, an artist must take risks. The risks that the artist has taken could be seen in his paintings online.

West is the cradle of modernism!

Art history interest Parekh a lot. He is of the view that modernism in paintings was introduced in the west. The phenomenon was similar to the circumstances where miniature took birth here. He is an alumnus of Sir J.J School of Arts. He was lucky to be taught by Professor S. Palsikar. He is well known for the strict adherence to discipline and used to give attention to details and techniques while teaching. Parekh also had exposure to crafts at the Handloom Board.

If the influence is good, it doesn’t kill originality!

The technique for getting their way with oils was taught to him by the masters from the west. He developed his brushstrokes to be bold and strong under their tutelage. He thinks that the Indian perspective judges artwork that has been created under some external influence. It idolizes originality. Parekh could come up with a great argument to prove his point. He believes that influence doesn’t kill originality in a painter. Gorky was one of those painters who tried to emulate Picasso. Some of them thought that he is imitating him. But, essentially, he developed his distinct style and is reckoned for developing the New York School of art.

Vincent Van Gogh was an art prodigy who died at an early age of 35 years after suffering from depression. In his last days, he painted and wrote letters to his brothers, often criticizing his works. His letters give deep insight into his thought process and style. Parekh has extensively read his letters and appreciates the maverick’s honesty. He was able to identify the Potato Eaters with the landscape of Kalahandi in Odisha two decades ago. He has replicated the masterpiece in his style several times in his career. The lamp also intrigued him in this manner.

Parekh says that Van Gogh’s brother used to badger him for getting influenced by different painters. He used to tell him that he could identify the influence in Gogh’s work distinctly and could tell the artist with whom Van Gogh was having trysts in art.

He went to Benares after his father’s demise in 1980. He pays frequent visits to the place and relishes every moment that passes off in the holy city. Benares is also known by the name of ‘City of Light’. He had worked here for a long time now and a realization has dawned upon him. The city is host to different kinds of light i.e. natural and man-made. The beauty of the dance of natural light could be seen in different seasons in the sky. The man-made sky changes the color of the whole city and lights it up in different shades. There are so many phases and facets interwoven.

Parekh appreciates the work of two of the most eminent artists of Indian paintings. They are M. F. Hussain and FN Souza. At one point in time, Souza’s work was not recognized. Manu Parekh considers his line of thought very deep.

Painting is not like a movie that releases every weekend and by the end of the week, we know whether it will top the charts or flop. Even if it turns out to be a hit, that doesn’t mean one has become successful. As an artist one needs to be patient enough to wait for the deserved recognition. Parekh is of the view that one needs to see a larger picture while seeking acceptance as a performer or a painter. All you need is patience!

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