Born and raised, in a village in the Madhubani district of Bihar, Pratik Prabhakar has grown up seeing the women of his household creating the intricately painted walls and floors from which the Mithila painting tradition originates. After graduating from school, he trained with Gopal Sahu, a renowned painter, before moving on to study formally under Santosh Kumar Das at the Mithila Art Institute, Madhubani (associated with The Ethnic Arts Foundation). Here he trained for another two years, acquiringa greater fluency in the vocabulary and technique of Mithila painting, as well as exposure to contemporary art.
In realizing his interest in the arts through the study of a local, vernacular art form, rather than the art syllabi available at a regular Fine Art institute, Pratik made a conscious and practical decision, to adopt a visual language that is intrinsic to his community and environment. Like others of his generation working within the Mithila artistic framework, he negotiates visual dialogues between the old and the new, craft and art, and the challenges that arise from the transformation of an aesthetic language, from a rural ritual to an urban contemporary expression.
'Vernacular, in the Contemporary' was a show, curated by Annapurna Garimella, for the Devi Art Foundation, which put Prabhakar onto the contemporary arts circuit, with a series of paintings that spilled beyond the confines of the painted paper sheet - onto the walls, much like the manner in which dreams manifest in our daily lives.