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Artist In Focus : Gopi Gajwani

In this section for D’s Art Takes, we pick one artist to showcase their work and creative journey so far. Today, we look at the Indian artist, Gopi Gajwani.

Gopi Gajwani : The Artist

Art came young to Gopi Gajwani. The young boy would happily scrawl and copy images from news papers and magazines. Anything – the young artist was hungry, and so he started. He read magazines and journals that was advanced for his age. But they opened up a new world of ideas for the boy, his imagination grew to accommodate his ideas.

Originally from Sindh, his family had migrated to Delhi in 1947 and like most well-meaning Indian parents, his too wanted him to study medicine or engineering. “I used to get beatings for it”, remembers Gajwani, now 78.

“At that time a career in art was unheard of, at the most you could end up being a drawing teacher in school or a billboard painter. My parents very reluctantly let me join an art school.” Reminisces the artist.

With his hard work and perseverance, Gajwani graduated from the Delhi School of Art in 1959.

Gajwani held his first show in 1966, the first of many to follow.

Gajwani has also had a hand in designing more than thirty coffee table books and photo spreads, two of which contain photographs that he himself has taken. This artist worked as a designer at the American Centre for twenty-nine years and has created some stunning posters for them. In addition to all this, Gajwani has also gained fame with his other talents – he is a well-known cartoonist and illustrator.
Later, he diversified into film-making (he has made nine short films since 1973), photography, illustration and design. He has returned to painting with a solo show of 57 abstracts titled Meditative Silence. His last show was in 2006. Meditative Silence, Gajwani says, has been curated from nearly 100 works of art by him since 2007.

In these 10 years, he added, he experimented with different media and sizes: watercolours, charcoal works, a mix of charcoal and watercolours and a mix of acrylic, charcoal and watercolours. Colours — bright and sombre — and shapes — squares, rectangular patches, lines, sometimes just splotches — interact differently on each canvas.

To learn more about your favourite artist and their creative journey, visit Artist in Focus

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