Veteran dancer Raghavraj Bhatt has rolled out his tenth solo art exhibition featuring two series of paintings. One series depicts Lord Ganesha as an artist and the other showcases the Dances of India. The Ganesha series, entitled Divine Contour, comprises 21 paintings and took eight years in the making. In them, we see Ganesha as a singer, a musician, a dancer. All depicted through Bhatt’s characteristic style of minimal sketching with simple lines.
As Bhatt explains, “I started painting this series because the different forms and depictions of Lord Ganesha fascinated me. The interpretations are very authentic at the roots. I have painted Ganesha with instruments like mridangam and veena. The real effort went into bringing in authentication into every aspect, including the posture or the roop (the face and aura). For instance, Ganesha with the veena had to have a bit of the facial features of Goddess Saraswati.”
Bhatt sketched everyday after his morning prayers and has refused to sell the entire series even though he has an offer of `28 lakh. He says, “I want to travel with this series and I want all of them to be displayed under one single roof.” The series on dances reflect the diverse folk and tribal traditions of India. Each painting provides the illusion of motion.
As Bhatt explained, the inspiration for this series on dance has been his father, Dr Gopal Raj Bhatt, also a renowned artist and dancer. He recalls, “I travelled with my father from the age of three. Although he also initially sketched with minimal lines, he moved on to painting and then focussed on dance.”