An artist who does not try to sell his paintings; in the world of blatant showmanship Ram Chandra Shukla is an iconoclast indeed. His only intention is to go in the depth of art itself and work as a spiritual painter, enjoying the bliss of art. Which is probably why he has managed to develop various indigenous style of painting like Kashi Shailee, Samikshavad and Intuitive Paintings.
This maverick was born in a humble family of farmers in a small village called Shukulpura of district Basti, Uttar Pradesh, in the year 1925. However soon after his birth his father decided to shifted to the cultural capital of Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad,in the hope of providing his son with a better future. The vibrant atmosphere of allahabad nurtured the artist in Ram Chandra Shukla and he graduated from the Allahabad University where he studpied studied painting under a renowned Indian Painter of the Bengal School named Kshitendra Nath Majumdar. Subsequently, he joined Benaras Hindu University as lecturer of art in the department of Painting. When he retired years after in 1985, he was the head of the arts department in the university.
Ram Chandra Shukla’s Pantings
Shri K.N.Maujmdar and the Bengal School of Art , left an indelible impression on Ram Chandra Shukla’s mind. Another important influence in his life was Prof. R.C.Shukla who was famous for his watercolor wash technique which was prevalent at that time. However the fiercely individualistic Ram Chandra was driven to devise his own technique; he began to take interest in the Folk Paintings of India, particularly Benaras Folk Art and Miniature Paintings of India. His experimentations along with other drawing students developed a new school of Indian contemporary painting called Kashi Shailee which was based on Folk Art of Benaras and Miniature Paintings of India.
As the name suggest this style was drawn from the Benares School or the Kashi School.
The colorful Miniatures of Rajasthan are also echoed in this style. Affably colorful and bright, these paintings seem to reflect the painter’s brighter side.
This particular school of painting is a biting comment on the present social, political, cultural and economical conditions. Ram Chandra tries to expose the corruption prevalent in the society and politics, in a style that is both symbolic and satirical.
These small sized paintings are the spontaneous expressions of Ram Chandra and express his innermost feelings, his fears and beliefs. Ram Chandra uses colored markers and sketch pens in these paintings, which are a new medium in the field of Indian Paintings.