Neeraj Goswami is our Art Watch Artist for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across nay discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.
Goswami is painter and sculptor, but it is his use of colour on canvas that intrigues me. His faces and bodies form a world that is equal parts modern, and equal parts fantasy. The lines are ever-present but never overpowering. The sense of another world is always hovering just beyond the canvas, never forcibly within the frame. His subjects and themes are of man and science co-joining. This is what makes Goswami an intrigue, and an artist to watch.
Neeraj Goswami has established his individual style that does not take into account the prevailing trends. In doing so he has earned a reputation of an artist whose works are thought provoking and filled with conflicts. Often between men and women or those between human beings and their environment. He has a keen sense of observation. And an eye for detail which has served him well making his paintings true to life and unequalled for their portrayal of the various realities that he observes around him.
Why Neeraj Goswami?
Several important camps and shows later Neeraj finds himself in the forefront of Indian contemporary art. His works grace many a collection both in India and abroad. However the journey of this artist to where he is today is one of the most difficult. Neeraj was born in Patna in 1964, however his family hails from Shekhavati in Rajasthan.
The concepts of art, and a colourful culture were intrinsic to this artist. But his instinct alone would not survive. He has admitted that his humble background made it difficult for him. But the encouragement that he received would garner him with unusual strength and determination. His father liked to draw, his mother played the sitar and his grandfather was a Sanskrit scholar. In primary school he witnessed his principal Kumud Sharma paint a mural and Neeraj was mesmerised. An artist herself, she motivated the young boy and gave him the impetus that he would need in his life – an opportunity as a young boy to paint a mural himself.
His parents supported his talent. But when he was in his tenth grade an accident tragically ended his fathers life and gradually the young boy who loved art and painting had to grow up. He had to contemplate a serious career that would financially support his family. He took up this responsibility and grew from strength to strength. Neeraj says that the time when he created art – without CGI, he is grateful because he acknowledge the value of slow growth.
“I cannot forget that experience till today that how I made a brush with cotton and wooden stick and used Neel and other things as colours. That experience inspires me till today. I can say that I am so lucky that got support and environment since beginning. I had won so many awards in different competitions. When I was five years old, an officer came to inspect the school. At that time I had made the elephant on board which was liked very much. A local newspaper had featured the picture and mentioned my name as a promising artist.” The artist is passionate about his craft and his tools.
He completed his education at the Delhi School of Art. He earned both a Bachelor’s and Masters degree and has been feted by the Government for his significant contribution to art.
It was to follow that Neeraj would receive awards and felicitations, the Bharat Bhavan Award at the Second Biennial of Contemporary Indian Art in the year 1988 happened. The Lalit Kala Research Grant Fellowship was also awarded to him in the same year. Besides these Goswami has been in great demand as a muralist and a portrait painter.
Neeraj has used the medium of oils his own and has achieved a brilliance and vibrancy that is outstanding. Technique is precious to him and he uses tons of Celadon Porcelain and Onyx Styrations. Neeraj’s canvases exude a gentle radiance, the paintings glow like precious stones with translucence rarely seen. Through this sheer haze his characters come alive. It is this energy invested in his artworks that have made Neeraj Goswami one of the most sought after artists of his generation.
For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.