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 a