Nawal Kishore

Artist of the Month

Inspired by femininity and women, artist Nawal Kishore answers what drives his artworks, the meaning behind them and how he chose his colour palette and titles for them.

Nawal Kishore received his Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts in 2000 and 2004 respectively from the College of Arts & Crafts, Lucknow. He completed 25 solo shows in India and abroad. His works have been exhibited in several groups shows at Lucknow, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Allahabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Mumbai, Singapore, Dubai and also the USA. Some of his works are also displayed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. I had the opportunity to interview him and get to know about his works a little better.....

Nawal Kishore at his studio in Tapasthali, Ghaziabad. | PC: Nawal Kishore

AA: What is the inspiration for your artworks? I see a lot of female figures right in the centre, is there a reason for this?

NK: I have always been influenced and inspired by a woman and her life. Through my mother, sister and now wife and daughter I have always respected women. When I was in school, I read that Vivekanand once said, “Whichever house does not respect a woman, will not prosper.” Hence you can see this reflected in my works. Every artist tries to show his “antarmann”...and that’s what my works show.

Nawal Kishore’s female figures are not only brave, beautiful and elegant but they also radiate a sense of fulfilment, sensuality and power. Finding it as not only a prevalent part of his works but also his life, he talks about how women have had a significant impact on him throughout his life.

Title: The Celebration

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Size: 36“ X 72" inch

Year: 2021

PC: Nawal Kishore

AA: Many figures have their head covered, are these the women? Or do men also have their head covered in your works? What does this signify?

NK: You can say this is sort of like my style. I made the woman’s face into a triangle, as

geometric forms inspire and intrigue me. Everywhere you notice you will find them in

everything you do.

You can see some geometric abstraction and cubism inspired forms in his works that are not necessarily followed in every outline. The women have natural curves that one can follow smoothly, without any interruption or breaks that a corner/ edge would create.

Nawal Ji respects all religion and follows one with discipline. He believes that in India, our religion and culture should be celebrated in such a way that we should be proud of its influence in the west and other countries.

Title: The life

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Size: 36“ X 42" inch

Year: 2019

PC: Nawal Kishore

AA: Your colour palette is mainly very warm shades of oranges, reds and yellows. Even your cooler tones have a warm undertone to them. What is the reason behind your natural inclination towards these shades?

NK: My colour palette reflects the colours of the sun/ “Surya”- oranges, browns, reds and

primary subtractive colours leaning towards crimson. I believe that bright paintings make one curious and in turn, start a thought process. This thought process is guided by the tones and shades of the colours used in the artwork. Hence I liked using colours that help bring about positive energy in the room.

All my buyers have confirmed this with me. I hope you feel this way as well about my works.

Especially right now in this world, we are surrounded by a lot of negativity, the news, the world has started to get drawn more towards considering the COVID situation. There is always a “breaking news” and a new story to follow and unfortunately, it is bringing people down all day, every day. I want to change that with the help of my paintings. I want to spread a message of positivity and hope. Not all is bad, not all is lost.

Title: The mrugtrishna

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Size: 42“ X 72" inch

Year: 2020

PC: Nawal Kishore

AA: Please discuss how you give a title to your works. What drives this decision.

NK: I have given some paintings a title, some I haven’t. All titles have a thought process, a reason behind it. My paintings consist of a journey. A key to nature- lotus, animal, pets, these small things are very important in our lives. It helps us realize that at the end of the day we are all the same and comprised of the similar atoms and molecules that make all of us up.

Our lives need to be spiritual and this helps in cleaning our soul and changing our life purpose. It helps us in realizing that we need to focus on accomplishing things that truly matter.

Born in a small town outside Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, known for its creative atmosphere, especially the “chaku”, Nawal Kishore grew up working in a small pantry store that his brother had started at a young age.

While studying in Lucknow, he also made movie posters for a side income. After that, he moved to Delhi NCR.

AA: It is very rare to see just one figure alone in your artworks. Is there any reason for the multiplicity? Do any of these figures have two heads attached to the same body (maybe I misinterpreted)?

NK: Some paintings have an extra head attached to my figures from various angles. What I am trying to convey by this is that so many times we are stuck in various situations in life. Sometimes we don’t understand what to do, so we ask ourselves, which in essence is our soul. This soul guides us and helps us decide what decision to take and hence we often end up following our conscience.

I also believe that every person has a thousand faces. Who should one believe? who to follow?

All-day a man is wearing a “mask” for the world, but when he lays on the bed he comes to his reality and true nature. He can run and hide from the world, even his near and dear ones, but at the end of the day, when he is by himself he cannot lie about his reality.

Title: The shakti

Medium: acrylic on canvas

Size: 36“ X 42" inch

Year: 2019

PC: Nawal Kishore

AA: The way the figures embrace each other is almost erotic. Yet, fully clothes and every time in Indian garments. What is it that you are trying to convey by this?

NK: My works showcase the emotions of friendship and companionship, hence I use this composition wherein I even overlap many figures in a way to show closeness, unity and trust.

Nawal Kishore has received many awards such as:

All India Award in Drawing from AIFACS, New Delhi in 2013

All India Award in watercolour from AIFACS, New Delhi (2011)

All India Award from State Lalit Kala Academy, Lucknow (2010)

He lives and works in Delhi.

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