Jyoti Bhatt, Indian (1934 - )

Jyoti Bhatt is a product of Gujarat. He completed Diploma in Painting with Graphic Arts and Post Diploma Specialisation in creative painting from M.S. University of Baroda. Jyoti Bhatt’s mission as a painter and a graphic artist is to preserve and to seek inspiration from the fast-disappearing folk art traditions of rural India.

He worked as a painter from 1954 to 1969 and taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda. He says, "I was never interested in studies. You may say that since I was not good for anything else in life, I became a painter. I studied painting and printmaking at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, under stalwarts like N. S. Bendre, Sankho Chaudhari and K. G. Subramanayan. In the 70s, I learnt the intaglio method of printing and screen painting."

Since the Seventies, Bhatt, a member of the Group 1890, has been inspired by the colourful stylised motifs of cross-stitch embroidery, rangoli motifs and the use of traditional calligraphic ideograms from his native Saurashtra.

Deeply impressed by Anand Coomaraswamy's book ‘Mediaeval Sinhalese Art’, Bhatt realised that folk art has many strands which reinforce one another. "Each work of art provides an avenue of creativity, and refines human sensibilities and responses. Living within a creative network, an individual artist attains a special stature and refinement. The disappearance of the network, with the breakdown of traditional cultures, is bound to cause cultural impoverishment," he says.

Bhatt claims that he has never regretted stopping painting and taking to photography as an art form. "The photo-documentation work is equally creative. Also, my work has brought into spotlight those umpteen tribal artists who were deprived of any recognition or reward, he states. Jyoti Bhatt lives and works out of Baroda.

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