Of unicorns and fairies | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Of unicorns and fairies

Illustrator Badri Narayan has spent the better part of his life telling stories through pictures. His brushstrokes have brought the Mahabharata and Ramayana alive for children across the country, and now the 83-year-old veteran is exhibiting in the city after six years.

art and culture Updated: Apr 22, 2012 15:53 IST
Megha Mahindru

Illustrator Badri Narayan has spent the better part of his life telling stories through pictures. His brushstrokes have brought the Mahabharata and Ramayana alive for children across the country, and now the 83-year-old veteran is exhibiting in the city after six years. Ask the pictorial teller about his fascination with the fantastical, and the allegorical figures he spins around it, and he says, “I consider myself a simple painter; a teller who likes to narrate stories and anecdotes. I don’t consider myself any different from a storyteller on the road as our purpose is to narrate a story in a simple way.”

Known for his simple outlines and two-dimensional style, his current exhibition features some of his works in watercolour. With the current crop of artists exploring multimedia and 3D forms, has he ever considered breaking free from his signature style? “I have tried various mediums besides watercolours such as oils, ceramic and mosaic, but I was always particularly fond of watercolours. I did a couple of oil paintings in my life such as The Family (1971), which is a rare work that will be on display. But I didn’t do too many canvases as my daughter had an allergic reaction to the oil paint. I’m fond of the old-world school of art and not too keen on exploring some mediums used today such as digital art,” he says.

Narayan’s mythical universe comes alive with this show, where unicorns, mermaids and fairies share space. There’s even a series on the elephant god Ganesha — a city icon to say the least. The Bangalore-based Padma Shri awardee adds, “This is a special exhibition for me as I have spent most of my life in Mumbai. I have lots of friends, admirers and well-wishers looking forward to seeing my work after a gap of six years.”

The exhibition is on at The Viewing Room, Walton Road, Colaba till May 19, from 11am to 7pm. Call 2283 0026/27