Sanjay Ashtaputre

Sanjay Ashtaputre is a multifaceted artist: a versatile painter, a sitar player and a poet. Underlining his equal affinity for all three forms, he notes that they are “ indispensable part and parcel of my being, as naturally and organically embedded as the process of breathing. They are seamless in their extents and it is difficult to separate one from another, they overlap and coincide profusely. Only the technical aspects differ but each has similar and equally strong philosophical strengths.”

Ashtaputre started off with figurative paintings, but in due course the realistic figurative paintings gave way to more abstract renditions with anatomical distortions. For decades, Ashtaputre has been rendering the human form in different ways, exploring in a sense the essence of the universe through the form of the human body. He has experimented with a range of media, from canvas and paper to clay. Illustrations, screen printing, signage, murals and paintings have all been part of the learning curve. In his own words, “Some artists feel apprehensive about changing their medium or style, being unsure if the artworks will still find takers. I paint for myself; my paintings are an expression of my thoughts. If they do well commercially, it’s an advantage.”

Ashtaputre is constantly evolving and challenging himself as an artist, deciding to take a break from colours at one point and creating a charcoal series titled ‘Malkauns’ in 2007. In style, his works are dynamic, luminescent, often bursting with a sense of vigour. As for meaning, the artist notes that “For me the space of the canvas is a means to create a visual impression. I believe that the physical aspects of the painting should be so attractive and intriguing to the viewers that it should succeed in holding their attention for some time. Only when this stage is crossed will they be able to get engaged with the work on emotional and philosophical levels. In terms of the concept of my expressions, I like to leave my work open for interpretation by the viewers.”