"Painter of people" with Sudhir Patwardhan (200 EP)


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This is the 200th episode of Audiogyan. Today I have Sudhir Patwardhan with us on Audiogyan. I celebrated 100th episode with India's design Hero, B.V. Doshi, and I am equally thrilled and excited to celebrate this 200th episode with another legend - Sudhir Patwardhan - one of India’s finest painters. Thank you Sudhir sir for giving your time and it's a real honor to have you on Audiogyan.


  1. Most legendary musicians talk about having emptied the mind to reach a higher state of consciousness while performing (Bismillah Khan or Kumar Gandharva). Is this the same process while painting? A painter seems to be filled with thoughts, contradictions, and conflicts in the world.
  2. Your early works (70's) were just the subject. Later on, you started bringing in context along with the subject. Why? What made you make this shift? Eventually, your paintings become busier. Why?
  3. You've said, “It is about what is possible to communicate and what is not. The artist starts by saying something, then he wipes and starts anew.” - Is this the reason why Mumbai has always inspired you? Even Mumbai gets washed with every wave hitting the island and starts fresh? Why Mumbai?
  4. This maximum city is transmuting rapidly all the time. How did you pick subjects to paint? Be it "corporate towers threatening to take over the long-defunct mills" or be it "riots". How did/do you handle the anxiety of expressing these equally burning issues and yet making it an iconic piece of art? (Is that how your multiple scenes within the same canvas emerge?)
  5. In my understanding, be it Vijay Tendulkar, or Satyajit Ray or you (For eg: "Paying the bill" painting - people next door, a common man, are subjects of your interest. What do you think makes your work so relatable? How come the common man (most of the time) is non-cognizant about it? R.K. Laxman could be an exception, maybe :)
  6. Human forms in your painting are doing mundane activities. Yet they are imbued with a sense of innate dignity as they go about performing their chores. What is transpiring in your expression?
  7. Your work ‘Citing the city’ at Sakshi Gallery in 2007 created a dialogue with society - How do you see these dialogues reaching the masses when the galleries are visited by the elite?
  8. You have been drawing Mumbai tirelessly. Crowded and chaotic scenes seem to be clearly depicted in your work. If you have to start all over again, which city would you pick?

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