Anwar Chitrakar

Born in 1980. Anwar Chitrakar is a traditional patua artist trained in the 19th century Kalighat style of painting. In West Bengal there are small colonies of patuas or village artists, who paint on long vertical paintings illustrating stories in a series of descending panels. In these scrolls the deeds of Krishna, adventures of Rama or other popular subjects are depicted scene after scene as the scroll are gradually unwound. Such scrolls are not intended for sale but rather to equip the artist for a second important function, that of a wandering minstrel. Covering a radius of 10 to 15 miles from his village, the patua goes from village to village gathering an audience around him, displaying his scrolls and intoning their contents. Over the past 25 years Anwar has evolved into a more individualistic artist, expressing his traditions and his belief systems in a more contemporary manner. Traditional myths and stories form the basis of his work, which stem from his background as an artist and story teller. Anwar has participated in many exhibitions in India and abroad, such as the Berlin Festival 2012, Namaste India Festival Japan 2012, Devi Art Foundation “Vernacular in the Contemporary”, Percept Gallery, Mumbai “Roop” and others. His paintings are part of the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Mumbai International Airport and are also held in private collections. Anwar has won the West Bengal State Award in 2002, the National Award in 2006 and the Presidents Award amongst others. The artist resides and works out of West Bengal.