Meet the artist who's painted for the homes of PM Modi, Ambanis, Birlas, and others
As with everything else, the art fraternity too has adapted to a changed world.
In 2021, even the most steadfast of traditionalists are embracing the digital medium and creating Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The latest to join the bandwagon is Jaipur-based artist and entrepreneur Suvigya Sharma, who is best known for his miniature art that he practised under the tutelage of his father and artist RK Sharma.
Suvigya’s popularity is evident from the fact that he has been commissioned to paint for the residences of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ambanis, the Birlas, the Piramals, and celebrities like Justin Bieber, Rani Mukherjee, Kangana Ranaut, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sanjay Dutt.
Though Suvigya specialises in miniature art on Pichwais, Tanjores, Piquas, and life-like portraits, his latest is a collection of NFTs inspired by ‘extinct animal species’. It is currently on display at Kamalnayan Bajaj Hall and Art Gallery at Nariman Point in Mumbai till October 24.
He joins YS Weekender for a candid chat about his latest exhibition and his switch to digital art. Excerpts from an edited interview:
YS Weekender (YSW): Please tell us about your journey so far and how you discovered your love of art.
Suvigya Sharma (SS): I am a full-time artist who creates miniature paintings, refined Tanjores, Pichwais, wall art, and fresco paintings. I also take up commissioned art pieces and have a clientele comprising the most well-known families in India. I have also created portraits of celebrities like Rani Mukherjee, Kangana Ranaut, and even PM Modi.
Art runs in my family; I represent the third generation of artists. I have witnessed art being created since I was a child and have been mixing pigments to make colours since I was seven years old. So, my love for art basically turned into my profession. My art gallery, workshop, and studio are located Jaipur.
YSW: Why did you decide to take up miniature art?
SS: Miniature art runs in my blood. It is an art form which is very beautiful and requires a lot of patience to execute. By the time I entered the Indian art landscape, miniature art was perishing as Indians were moving towards more contemporary art forms. I made it my personal mission to revive miniature art in the country and also re-introduce it to the world.
We still use the old methods of making colours by mixing pigments made from vegetable dyes and using brushes that are handmade.
I really hope that this art form is appreciated, followed, and loved as it is the true essence of our country’s creativity. It has been around for almost 5,000 years - from a time when India was the pioneer of art around the world because of the unique techniques used.
YSW: Why do you feel your work strikes a chord with so many people?
SS: My work has been appreciated all over India and the globe. I think people like my miniature artwork as the appreciation for Indian art has grown over the years and people have developed a new appreciation of our traditional art forms. They recognise the dedication, patience, and the craft that goes into these exquisite creations.
Artist Suvigya Sharma uses pigments made from vegetable dyes and handmade brushes to create his Pichwai and Tanjore paintings.
YSW: Please tell us about your latest exhibition of Tanjores and Pichwais.
SS: My latest exhibition is named ‘Enticing Pichwais’. I consider myself a torch bearer of the modern Pichwai, as I have tried to use a vibrant colour palette and contemporary compositions in my creations, which do not feel very mythological and traditional. As they are not too flashy, they can easily blend into a modern Indian home. I’ve tried to give my refined Tanjores the same treatment and feel.
Art is a gradual process, so this particular collection took around three years to complete. This collection is an accumulation of some of my most diverse, luxurious, and sophisticated art pieces.
YSW: Please tell us about your foray into NFTs. Was it challenging to change mediums after so long?
SS: I am sure that the NFT craze is not just a trend and is here to stay. It provides a great platform for artists who are exposed to audiences from anywhere in their home country and across the globe. It was not challenging to enter a new medium. As an artist, I only have to focus on creating the art. The only thing that has changed is the medium of presenting it.
My new NFT collection is called ‘Perishious’. It is a collection of 11 unique art pieces dedicated to wildlife creatures like the polar bear and the tiger that are on the brink of extinction. The works are set in hyper-realistic palatial 3D backgrounds.
Suvigya Sharma's new NFT collection, Perishious, includes 11 art pieces dedicated to animals that are on the verge of extinction.
YSW: Do you believe NFT is the future of art?
SS: Yes, NFT is certainly the future of art. I also assume that in the coming years, we will probably have the option to purchase NFTs on social media platforms. It is gradually going to become easy for art lovers and collectors to purchase these digital assets and even physical copies from anywhere in the world. This can be a great venture for any artist, if pursued with dedication.
YSW: Where do you get the inspiration for your body of work?
SS: My home Rajasthan, and especially my city of Jaipur, have greatly inspired my work. Being in constant connection with folk art and culture has played its part too. I also believe that my love and fascination of animals inspires my art.
My art can be seen on my Instagram handle @suvigyasharmatheartist, online art galleries, and my website. My art pieces can be purchased from my website or through various exhibitions across India and the world.
YSW: Do you work with other people? If yes, in what role?
SS: Yes, I do collaborate with other individuals and organisations for their projects. The hard cover of the book by Chef Vikas Khanna named Utsav: A Culinary Epic of Indian Festivals was created by me. I have also collaborated with the Smile Foundation, which gave me the opportunity to debut as a fashion designer with my hand-painted 24-carat gold menswear collection.
YSW: What are you working on next?
SS: NFT is my focus for the present and will be so for at least a year. Seeing the response, I plan to introduce one new exclusive NFT every 15 days. Later on, I plan to release an interesting fusion of miniatures without any mythology, which I am sure will be a hit with art lovers across generations.