Born in Indore, Piyush Sharma's longstanding love of painting led him to formally study art at the Government Institute of Fine Art in his city. Here he found himself drawn towards abstract expressionism, a style that influenced his early work. Recently though he has begun to revisit watercolours, as a medium to create sublime landscapes of glowing, translucent blues and green.
Not unlike those made by the famed spiritual landscapist, Nicholas Roerich, whose spiritual landscapes depict ancient arenas of nature, enlivened by an almost otherwordly colour and light, Sharma's current body of landscape works evoke a sense of stillness and tranquility. For the work he is creating for the Mumbai International Airport, he merges this sensibility with his interest in ancient Indian art to explore Alchi and Ajanta murals, Tanjore and Mysore paintings and Adivasi tribal art ,as varying expressions of a collective Indian memory and imagination.
"I see myself as a chief orchestrator of sorts with the skills to copy and transpose the referenced images onto the Bhutanese paper. But I am also as an artist who will translate the traditions with a certain vision and an empathy for both the innocence of traditional art and the formal conventions of Western academic painting", says the artist, explaining that he had to deliberately 'unlearn' many of the techniques he learnt in art school before approaching this work.
"The divisions between classical art and public art made for and by the people are artificial divides. In reality, all art comes from the same fountainhead of creativity; its expression is different, but the general intention is to uplift one from the mundane to spiritual. Such hierarchies were created only to divide the viewing public into certain classes", says Sharma who strongly believes that the common man reacts to art as much as the gentrified elite.