At the bottommost of unknown

To whom to say a true painter or artist? Actually, It's a matter of debate but the one who serves art very diligently has to be called a true sensitive artist. To be very honest, the frustrating thing about our society is that the one who seeks to move forward on the basis of untruth, or the one who praises himself with the least amount of work and praises himself all over the world, is applauded here, and people make him great. And, it leaves the genuine hard working artists behind, as they keep working.

That's why today I'm going to the bottom of unknown and trying to bring a real artist to you.

“Bhaskar Madhav Kulkarni”

Bhaskar was born in 1930 in Malad, Mumbai. He is the third of five siblings. His father Sawai Madhavrao Kulkarni was a partisan activist of the Mahasabha.

Hence, there was a spiritual atmosphere in the house. Bhaskar also started growing in this environment. However, the artist inside has not allowed himself to sit still and joined the J.J. School of Arts in 1951 and continued to worship art at Haldankar Fine Arts. After completing his education, he started working for Walter Thomas and Air India. After he got bored there, he left his job, and started working in Weavers Service Centre. He later worked as a research artist at the Handloom Handicraft Export Commission in Delhi.

While expanding his knowledge by traveling to India and abroad, he came in contact with Pupil Jayakar, a consultant of both these organisations. Recognising his inquisitive nature, he made many opportunities available to him. Madhubani in Bihar is one of the opportunities to work on folk art. There he did a lot of work on Madhubani and made this art a special place at the national level. He resigned from his job in Delhi in 1975 and returned to Warli tribal near Dahanu to do research on Warli art. Earlier in 1972, he introduced Warli art and it’s splendor and made the uniqueness and its invention known in the art world of Mumbai. 

He brought exhibitions to Mumbai and Delhi and brought the tribal people to light. Meanwhile, Jiva Somya Mhashe, who was honoured with the President's Medal and Padma Award, pulled such artists out of obscurity and remained behind the scenes. The people of Warli and later, however, began to disagree and dispute, so they left Warli. Then after turned to Madhubani again and started working with them. Personal strife, socio-political bitterness, all these things made his sensitive artiste uneasy and frustrated. As a result, he became addicted. He took the folk art of Warli, Bastar, Santhal, Kunwar in the south, Madhubani back to the international level with great difficulty. All the credit goes to this one man, because of his nomadic nature, he traveled constantly.

He continued to write diaries throughout this journey. In it he has preserved a lot of sketches, paintings and a treasure trove of his thoughts. Today, more than 100 of his diaries are with private collectors. Some painters don’t even draw 500 paintings in their entire lives. However, even if one calculates a hundred pages in a diary, He has written as much as and painted like Mahagranthas. He not only practiced art but also devoted himself to art. Due to his wandering and quiet nature, he died in a state of despair at Darbhanga. If it were not for Bhaskar Kulkarni, all these Indian folk art would have been destroyed and no one would have understood.

Therefore, I have made a small effort to bring this important gem of the Indian art world to the fore today in the age of obedience.

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  • Suvarna Dheringe
    Suvarna Dheringe

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