Born in a small village in the outskirts of Baroda, artist Amarnath Sharma gained a lot of experience and inspiration of art from various sources. H received two bachelor's degrees in painting- one from Patna College of art in 1995 and another from The Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) of Baroda in 2000. He then went on to receive a Master’s degree also in painting from MSU Baroda in 2002.
His experience at art camps in India and abroad, participation in many solo and group shows at well-known galleries and auction houses like Sarjan Art Gallery, Osian’s, Lalit Kala Akademi- New Delhi, Priyasri Art Gallery, Galerie 88, Nehru Science Center- Mumbai, Astaguru etc have contributed towards his growth as an artist. He has also won many awards for his works, such as the prestigious award for painting from the government of Bihar!
AA: You have a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees in painting. Can you tell us a little about what got you interested in pursuing this career path in the first place and what was your experience like receiving these degrees?
AS: My mother has been my biggest inspiration to pursue the art field. I belong to a family of carpenters. We make furniture. I see this as a form of creation and like every creation, this too is artistic. This has intrigued me since my childhood- the art of making furniture! It itched my creative side and that itch has not left me since.
I would also like to add that during my school days in Bokaro Steel City, I met many artists with whom I interacted on a daily basis. This helped me in going deeper into the subject and finding answers to many of my questions. I was able to discuss, explore and grow as an artist here and really “learn” art from my schoolmates and professors. I was surrounded by like-minded people who could talk about art with the same passion as me.
AA: You have taken part in many groups and solo shows. How has your experience been?
AS: During my masters (MFA) in Baroda, I had a lot of people appreciate my work. This led to me getting an offer to do a solo show at the reputable Sarjan Art Gallery. Bhupen Khakhar Ji did not only make an appearance at the show, but he also admired and praised it. Also, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, who is a very well-known collector, purchased many of my works at the time.
All these opportunities have given me the chance to be accepted as an artist into the art community in Baroda. Every show adds some experience and helps me grow each time. I have been fortunate enough to show my works with successful artists like Chintan Upadhyay, Krishnamachari Bose, Riyas Komu, etc. Now, we are all good friends and exchange words now and then.
AA: You have participated in many camps. What was your experience like? Any anecdotes/ interesting stories to share? Has any artist/ location had a major impact on you? What has your take-home message been from taking
AS: That is correct, I have been a part of many art camps. My first camp was curated by Nancy Adajania, in which I worked with many well-known artists like Jyoti Bhatt, Bose Krishnamachari, Chintan Upadhyay, Hema Upadhyay, T. V. Santosh, Baiju Parthan, etc just to name a few.
This also gave me a chance to travel abroad and visit many countries that I had never even planned/ imagined to be in one day! Visiting international art museums was extremely advantageous as I was able to view many original works of world-famous master artists, about whom I had only read about in books and seen their works online.
In fact, through these camps, I got the chance to communicate closely with other artists on various topics too. We spoke not just about art, but also philosophy, movies, literature, food, travel etc.
We talked about each other’s works, which helped us see art from another artist’s perspective, which can be crucial and amusing for artists in many senses. It's very difficult to say the particular impact of any artist on my work. It is all a part and parcel of innumerable conversations while having a good time.
Size: 366x183 cm / 144x72 inch
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
PC: Amarnath Sharma
AA: Tell me a little about the Baroda art scene. How is it different from Mumbai and Delhi? You are originally from a small village, why did you feel the need to move to the city?
AS: I used to do photorealistic images which you could say was the product of growing up surrounded by the Baroda art scene as the professors here were highly influenced by western art at the time. We used to see and discuss in detail with them such art practices in college.
Even the works of Shibu Natesan, Natarajan Sharma, Anandjeet Ray etc. were a reflection of such techniques.
I must add here that my faith, the mythology of Vishwakarma, my childhood memories about my village, etc. also greatly impact my works.
I didn't decide to move to a big or metro city. My father got a job in Bokaro Steel City so my family moved there so I and my siblings could receive a better education. One day I came across an artist who worked in Bokaro Steel City. Through them, I came to know about Baroda Fine Art College and the Visual Art field.
Then I tried to contact some seniors who were studying there, in the fine art faculty. I applied and got accepted soon after. Here is where I met many artists who had a major hand in opening my eyes and making me realize my love for art. I also met my wife here. She is also an artist. She is also one of my main reasons to settle down in Baroda. I found the pleasantness in the city, where all the artist's friends meet in the evenings at chai laari and discuss art, world, politics, and share tits and bits about their personal lives too. There is a very small art community that lives in Baroda, we all know each other rather well!
Known for his metaphorical representations of daily household items such as a ‘Pakkad’, which he sees as a symbol of effort and labour. He uses these items in his works as he reminisces about his childhood. Another example of such a memory is ‘Litti Chokha’, an Indian meal that originated originally from Bihar but is now relished in many other parts of India as well. Many carpentry tools as well, since his family’s income was based on the right usage of these tools. Amarnath grew up imbibing these encounters that surrounded him as a young lad.
Size: 122x152 cm / 48x60 inch
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
PC: Amarnath Sharma
✧ 2003 - Altitude the Destination, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2006 - Man At Work, The Arts Trust, Mumbai
✧ 2014 - In – Transit? Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2000 - Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2002 - San - Et - Lumiere Art Gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2002 - Voices against Violence, Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2003 - Portrait Show, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2003 - Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2003 - Figurative Non-FigurativeNarration, art auction by OSIAN, Mumbai
✧ 2004 - Urban Confluence, Apparao Galleries, New Delhi
✧ 2004 - Group-Ungroup, curated by Rahul Mukherjee, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
✧ 2004 - Feb Group Show, ABS Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2004 - Looking back, Looking forward, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2004 - Harmony Show, Tribute to Art, Mumbai
✧ 2004 - Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2004 - Garden of Roses (Kalatmak), Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2004 - A New Mediatic Realism, curated by Nancy Adjania, Bayer ABS Gallery, Baroda.
✧ 2004 - Transgrass, Priyasri art gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2005 - Group show, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2005 - ABS Bayer Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2005 - Detour, Galeria 88, Mumbai
✧ 2005 - In-cinque, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi
✧ 2006 - Feb Group Show, ABS Bayer Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2006 - Annual Show, Birla Academy, Calcutta
✧ 2006 - Bird on Wire, The Arts Trust, Mumbai
✧ 2006 - Camp Jaspur 05, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2006 - Merging Culture, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2006 - EVAM, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2006 - Is My Love Like a Red, Red Rose?, curated by Sandhya Bordawekar
Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2007 - Annual Show, Birla Academy, Calcutta
✧ 2007 - Art on the Wings, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2007 - 12th Harmony Show, Nehru Centre, Mumbai
✧ 2007 - Coming Together, presented by Creative Urge, Baroda
✧ 2007 - The Himalaya Odyssey, Travancore Palace Art Gallery, New Delhi
✧ 2007 - Young Guns, ICIA House, Mumbai
✧ 2007 - Similarities, curated by Anupa Mehta, Lansdowne Gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2008 - The Aura Art Show, Nehru Center, Mumbai
✧ 2008 - Millennium Turks- envisaging contemporary India, curated by Bhavna Kakar, Trident Hilton, New Delhi
✧ 2008 - Trends & Trivia - an Indian story by Art Konsult and Mon Art Gallerie at Visual Art Center, Hong Kong
✧ 2008 - Art auction, OSIAN, Delhi.
✧ 2008 - Annual Show, Red Earth Art Gallery Pvt., Museum Gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2008 - Freshly Squeezed, curated by Sangeeta Singh, Suchitra Art Gallery, Mumbai
✧ 2008 - Modern & Contemporary Indian Art, AstaGuru Auction, Mumbai
✧ 2008 - Watercolour, curated by Jayram Podwal, Hyderabad
✧ 2008 - Baroda- A Tale of Two Cities, curated by Sumati Gangopadhyay, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2009 - Cutting Chai, curated by Sandya Bordewekar, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2009 - One hundred thousand + Fifty Thousand, Bank on Art, New Delhi
✧ 2010 - Watercolour for V-care, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2011 - Divine Stroke, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2012 - Diverse Palette, Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2012 - Hub - 5, Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2012 - Assembled, Priyasri Studio, Baroda & Mumbai, Priyasri Art Gallery
✧ 2012 - United art Fair, New Delhi
✧ 2013 - Shimeesha Art Show, Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2013 - 100 years of cinema, curated by Kruti Mukherjee, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2014 - Annual Show of Shimeesha, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2014 - Watercolour Show, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2014 - Vision of Sardar Patel and Unity curated by Kruti Mukherjee, Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
✧ 2014 - HUB – 7, Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2014 - Group Show at Calcutta organized by Debashish Dutta
✧ 2015 - Group Show Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda
✧ 2015 - Group Show, Sarjanart gallery Baroda
✧ 2016 - Group Show, Gallery 36, Mumbai
✧ 2016 - Group Show, Patna Museum, Bihar
✧ 2019 Group Show, Gange’s gallery, Kolkata
✧ 2019 - Group show, creativity Art Gallery, Delhi
✧ 2019 - Group Show, Sarjan art gallery, Baroda
✧ 2019 - Group Show, (CHAIR) Sarjan art gallery, Baroda
✧ 2020 - Group show in Sarjan art gallery
Camps / Workshop:
✧ 2000 - Reliance World Painting by Visual Artist Group, Ahmedabad
✧ 2000 - Landscape camp by Camlin Company, Rangpur
✧ 2003 - Workshop of Printmaking 'Chhapp', Baroda
✧ 2004 - Artist Camps By Uttarayan, Rakesh Agrawal, Baroda
✧ 2005 - Artist Camp by Tata Company & Galeria 88, Jamshedpur
✧ 2005 - Artist Camp by Alekhyan, Baroda
✧ 2006 - R.P.G. Artist Camp by Vickram Sethi & Harsh Goenka, Mumbai
✧ 2007 - Artist Camp by ‘Creative Urge’, Baroda
✧ 2007 - Artist Camp “LAKSHYA – 2007 by ‘ Art Home’, Bhimtal/Jim Corbett
✧ 2007 - Artist Camp “Himalaya Velly” by ‘ Art Home’, Uttaranchal
✧ 2007 - Artist Camp by ‘Creative Urge’, Turkey
✧ 2007 - Artist Camp by ‘Art Home’, Thailand/Singapore
✧ 2008 - Artist Camp by ‘Alekhyan’, Baroda
✧ 2008 - Artist Camp by ‘Creative Urge’, Russia
✧ 2009 - Artist Camp by ‘ Art Home’, Bhuj curated by Johnny M. L.
✧ 2015 - Artist Camp, Mount Abu
✧ 2016 - Artist Camp Terracotta, Patna government
✧ 2018 - Artist Camp, Indonesia
✧ 2018 - Artist Camp, AhmedabadWatercolour
✧ 2019 - Artis camp, organized by the government of Bihar
✧ 2020 - Art Camp organization by Mala Desai, Kerala
Amarnath Ji lives and Works in Baroda.