Shri Kumar Adhikari (b. 1987) pursued his B.F.A in painting from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi in 2011 and M.F.A painting from IGNOU New Delhi in 2013. His paintings are inspired by the iconic Miniature paintings and are gorgeous and modern retellings of the tales from the Mughal era.
Shri Kumar’s paintings are a beautiful retake of Mughal Miniature with hints of realism. His paintings recreate the scenes from Mughal Durbars, historic processions, festivities and ceremonies. However, on close observation, one can find that the artist paints these paintings in a contemporary setting. Though the durbaris or the courtier are dressed in traditional clothes and jewellery, they are seen flaunting aviator sunglasses, sporting huge headphones over their pagdis, taking selfies or mindlessly scrolling through their phones. At times, the artist also shows the courts held through video calls along with the use of the latest tabs and laptops. In many ways, Shri Kumar’s paintings give a glimpse of how the Mughal Durbar would look if it was held in the 21st century. Through these paintings, the artist expresses how technology is gradually invading our lives, and how gadgets are slowly becoming as vital as our body parts, for our living. His work would make one think, how technology would have impacted the lives of people living centuries ago.
Much like the Mughal Miniatures, muted hues of primary colours cover the majority of Shri Kumar’s canvas. But rather than using natural pigments and dyes, the artist uses acrylics, to give his paintings a very contemporary vibe. The detailed zari work in the clothes, intricate jewellery and motifs in the background take the onlookers to the Mughal Era, but the colours and usage of modern gadgets bring the onlookers back to the present-day world.
Shir Kumar has been recognised across the globe for his amazing work and has received many awards. He has participated in numerous group and solo shows including those at Lalit Kala Akademi, India Habitat Center, New Delhi and Visual Art Gallery India Habitat Center, New Delhi.
Size: 30" x 40"
Acrylic on Canvas