Adarsh Baji’s Paintings
By Adarsh Baji
About my work:
In my early days, I began my artistic journey by drawing my childhood memories, portraits of famous people from newspaper and cartoons. I would also draw some images from comic books with basic materials. For these, I got a lot of appreciation from my parents, my friends and my school teachers. My school teachers at that time selected me to participate in drawing competitions and in these competitions, the organizers would give us one subject and we all had to draw only that. Those kinds of competitions did help me develop my thinking; sometimes I won awards and sometimes I didn’t. But I never stopped practicing my art.
My disability, I can say, gave me a lot of time for pracitsing my art. I never had a chance to waste any time. I was able to concentrate on my art completely. On the other hand, I continued studying and completed my B. Com. in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. After that I was confused about what I should do next. I did consider doing a course in art but had no idea how to go about it. At the same time, my mother was keen that I get a government job, but I wasn’t interested in that. One of my teachers suggested that I do a Fine Arts course in Hyderabad. I moved to Hyderabad and got admission into the JNTU College of Fine Arts.
The course was four years long and I studied the fundamentals of art history, how to compose, how to explore ideas on canvas, how to gain expertise in material handling and I also learnt to experiment with new media. For those four years I only concentrated on my academic work and successfully finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004.
After my BFA I got admission at the Central University of Hyderabad for a post-graduate course in Fine Arts. This period proved very difficult for me as an artist because I had more freedom in choosing my subject and also I had the freedom to experiment with ideas and do some practical work. This caused greater pressure. This was also the time when I was learning how to express my ideas in a mediated manner through art. The BFA seemed far simpler – we were given subjects, we learnt techniques and our art at that time seemed more direct. Seeing me struggle through that time, my professors advised me to concentrate on myself as that may give me many interesting ideas to work on. This was good advice! It was after this that I began to do work based on the creatures around me, my shoes, my legs and I enjoyed this series a lot. I did a lot of work on my disability then. After that I moved to Baroda and I work as a freelance artist now. I concentrate on social issues now and my art is based on my perceptions of them.
Adarsh Baji is a freelance visual artist in Baroda. He has a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Hyderabad and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work may be seen at www.adarshbaji.weebly.com. Baji’s work also includes cover art for the book, South Asia and Disability Studies, edited by Shridevi Rao and Maya Kalyanpur (Peter Lang Publishing, 2015).
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