A portrait gives you the leeway to play around the human anatomy in great detail.
“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke,” famously wrote the award-winning Polish-American novelist Jerzy Kosinski. And Indian miniature artist Suvigya Sharma abides by the same code. The artist who recently came under the spotlight when he unveiled a life-size portrait of international heartthrob and singer Justin Bieber when the latter came to India earlier this month, makes another attempt — this time with a hyper-real portrait of Honourable Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been drawing and painting,” says the third-generation artist who has commissioned artworks for a majority of industrial and celebrity families in India and the world including most prominent names like the Ambani family, Rajshri Birla, Binanis, Singhanias, Burmans, Piramal family, Sachin Tendulkar, Priyanka Chopra, Rani Mukerji and Kangana Ranaut. “Most work used to comes by word-of-mouth. People liked what they saw and we got connected. If it was not word-of-mouth, then in some cases it has also been pure persuasion that had resulted in conversations. However, of late, it has become my full-time work” says the artist about having painted the creme de la creme.
Suvigya besides being an artist and painter specialises in miniature paintings, Tanjore paintings, fresco work and portraits. Explaining about the guidelines that he follows while working with high-profile celebrities, he says, “I generally get instructions and guidelines before I start my final painting. In the case of Modiji, I was told to evoke a sense of calmness while painting his face. I usually draw a lot of rough sketches before the final attempt and go back and forth with my clients for any kind of modifications.”
The 34-year-old artist who presented the artwork to the PM at his office in the capital says that it was dedicated to the ceaseless spirit and vision of the PM: “I have tremendous respect for the PM and have adored him for being a visionary. I think that he is taking our country towards becoming a global super power through his unique vision. The whole country loves him in their own unique way and I could only express my gratitude towards him through my love, my art.”
The lifesize portrait is a detailed (3.5 ft x 3 ft) hyperreal miniature painting with oil on canvas, bears a calm expression on the PM’s face, conveying the artist’s attempt at portraying him as a visionary. The National Emblem broach tucked into the PM's jacket in the painting is gilded in 24-karat gold. During his meeting with the PM, he says that they discussed at length about how miniature is a one-of-its-kind art form and how its technique has been perishing.
The celebrities who he usually paints are also some of the most photographed people on Earth. Ask him what gives him the edge despite the above-mentioned factor and he says, “A portrait gives you the leeway to play around the human anatomy in great detail, without tampering with its originality, unlike a photograph. That gives this medium the added edge.”