I make art for myself: Pankaj Jha | regional movies | Hindustan Times
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I make art for myself: Pankaj Jha

Pankaj Jha talks about his artworks, his acting days and his current inspiration, the Buddha

regional movies Updated: Dec 14, 2017 16:47 IST
Anjali Shetty
Pankaj Jha says he owes his artistic inclination to his father and a childhood friend
Pankaj Jha says he owes his artistic inclination to his father and a childhood friend

Pankaj Jha says he owes his artistic inclination to his father and childhood friend, Raman. The actor-painter admits that he took to acting and art at a very young age and has managed to maintain a balance between the two.

Jha, who has his art studio in Pune, often visits the city to unwind. “As a child, I would paint and draw. I learned much later that my dad was good at sketching. He was a very strong support system. After him, it was a friend in my colony who encouraged me to take up art,” says the Monsoon Wedding (2001) actor, who completed a fine arts degree from the College of Arts & Crafts, Patna University, Bihar.

After his graduation, Jha took up illustration and art jobs. It was during this phase that he met Hindi theatre director Bansi Kaul, who offered him a job as a designer. Jha shares, “Bansiji asked me if I would accompany him to the National School of Drama (NSD) for a play and help him with its art design. I still cherish that memory as the people at the school were helpful and encouraged me. They would appreciate my acting, too. Some of my friends from NSD decided to move to Mumbai and I joined them. Fortunately, I did not struggle to find work at that time.”

Despite getting good acting offers, Jha wanted to continue his association with art. “I had a lot of friends in Pune. And through them, I set up my studio there. I have showcased my work at six exhibitions so far, and I am looking forward to more. I use the studio as a space to paint and create [new art],” he says.

Jha likes working with acrylic on canvas because of the ‘flow’ of the medium. He says, “Nature inspires me, and I paint for myself. I do not get influenced by market trends or the commercial viability of paintings. All my works reflect my individual essence. Today, our Indian artists have been unable to make themselves commercially viable. Hence, I stay away from the commercial aspect.”

Jha is currently working on creating artwork inspired by Buddha. He says, “To me, the Buddha is all about consciousness and this is exactly what my next theme is all about.”