‘All Varanasi ghats tell a story that I have revealed through my paintings’ - Hindustan Times
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‘All Varanasi ghats tell a story that I have revealed through my paintings’

By, Lucknow
Aug 08, 2023 01:04 AM IST

Patel is in Lucknow at present for an art exhibition ‘Avimukta’ that was inaugurated at a city hotel on Monday.

Praveen Patel, 27, has made more than 10,000 paintings in the past eight years, 3000 of which display the culture and heritage of Varanasi’s famous Ghats.

Praveen Patel at work on Varanasi ghat (sourced)
Praveen Patel at work on Varanasi ghat (sourced)

“Through the ages, culture and spiritual excellence of Kashi has been interpreted differently by various writers and painters. Books have been written on this aspect and paintings drawn on this,” said Patel while speaking to HT on Monday.

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Patel is in Lucknow at present for an art exhibition ‘Avimukta’ that was inaugurated at a city hotel on Monday. The exhibition is supported by Neha Singh of Lucknow Public School group. It will continue till the Independence Day, August 15.

“My work captures how Kashi’s Ghats depict a global culture, drawing people from all parts of the globe to these majestic ghats,” he said.

“These people, both global and local, who arrive at these ghats pray in different ways. Some are in search of moksha (salvation), some seek solace, eternal peace while many are drawn to experience pleasures. All through these famed Ghats maintain a fine balance between the physical and spiritual. I have attempted to display the same through my paintings,” he said.

“May be that’s why foreigners purchase my paintings,” he added.

“When I came to Varanasi from Bihar’s Bhabhua district, I only had the blessings of my farmer father and mother. They allowed me to study fine arts because I was very good at it,” he said.

Patel said, he completed his MFA from BHU and then opened his studio near the Hyderabad Gate. “I started making paintings when I was a student. When I started teaching those paintings to students who were preparing for admission to fine arts courses, I realised how important it is to capture the spirit of a city. I decided to reveal hidden secrets of Varanasi Ghats through my paintings,” he said.

He said his paintings capture the changing moods of ghats as they change through the day as per the weather,” he said.

“My paintings also portray the excellence of Kashi culture which welcomes everyone with open arms. That is why though I was born in Bihar, Varanasi runs in my blood,” he said.

“This is why I will never leave Varanasi not because it is the cultural capital of India but because of its unique culture which makes everyone its own. All of Varanasi Ghats have a story which I have displayed through my paintings,” he said.

“I hope my exhibition helps satisfy the thirst of art and culture enthusiasts who want to learn about various aspects of Varanasi,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

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