Canvas Queen

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

CSS Latha talks to celebrated artist Pratiksha Apurv, who managed the rare feat of having the PM, President, and the Vice President at her art showing. Published in Savvy, India, October 10, 2016


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It was a defining moment for Pratiksha Apurv when three top leaders of the country – President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President M Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi – launched her ‘Mystical Moments’ series of 25 paintings at the Rashtrapait Bhavan Museum in New Delhi recently. The exhibition was also graced by the entire council of ministers of the Government of India, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former President of India Pratibha Patil and many other distinguished dignitaries.

Surreal for any artist; so how did Pratiksha manage such a feat?

Letter To The President

Supposedly, in response to her invitation letter to President Pranab Mukherjee to inaugurate her solo exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi, the President’s office instead invited her to showcase her exhibition at the new Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum.

To Pratiksha, whose saga has been full of surprises, this was indeed a momentous event. And to her delight, the museum housed in three floors, had her paintings exhibited first. And though the President and the Prime Minister along with other dignitaries were scheduled to take a tour of all the three floors within 35 minutes, to Pratiksha’s delight, they spent 15 minutes only browsing through her 25 paintings.

Pratiksha beams, “Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched my show in Gujarat, this was an occasion when he was accompanied by two other leaders – the President and Vice President of the country. They showed immense interest in every painting and lent an attentive ear to my explanation for each of the themes of my paintings.”

Spiritual Bliss

Incidentally, besides being a celebrated artist, Pratiksha is also the late Osho’s niece. Pratiksha says, “I am blessed because I had the good fortune of being in such close proximity to my uncle. It was a revelation listening to him when he was spreading his vision, triggering a silent spiritual revolution across the country.”

She adds, “As a child, Osho was very fond of me and whenever he visited Gadarwara, he used to bring sketch pens for me as I was in love with art. I used to draw geometrical figures and experiment with lines. When I shifted to Pune to live with Osho, my passion for drawing continued.

Design Tale

In the early ’80s, Pratiksha travelled to the US to live in Rajneeshuram, Oregon, USA, for two years with Osho. She recalls, “It was a huge experience for me as I was part of the global village which turned a desert into a vibrant city.”

Upon her return to India in the mid ’80s, Pratiksha turned to fashion designing and launched the ‘Oshonik’ label. Soon she was designing for the movers and shakers of India, including the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Call of Art

After a decade-long career as a designer, Pratiksha finally listened to her inner calling and took to canvas painting. She says, “Since I had no formal training in painting, everything in the beginning was a process of self-learning. I learnt everything from scratch – about brush quality, paints, canvas, mixing.”

Illustrious Journey

And perhaps that’s why Pratiksha has gone from strength to strength. Since 2007, she has held 11 solo shows across the country.

Almost a decade after her first exhibition, the Government of India recognized her work by bestowing upon her the ‘National Award’ for her painting titled ‘Cosmic Balance’. Pratiksha says, “I was humbled. I never had technical training. This highest Government award came as a surprise to me.”

The Osho Effect

Ask her what makes her work so popular and Pratiksha sums up, “My inspiration has always been Osho in all my creative endeavors. Meditation has helped me truly understand the beauty of this world, life and its various shades. I have learnt to be a silent spectator of things and the ‘witness’ in me born out of meditation, keeps me always in a state of clarity.”

Pratiksha ApurvPratiksha Apurv –

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