Bansi Khatri #Biography
The symphony of art in Bansi Khatri life started very soon as he grew up watching his maternal grandfather Hiralal Khatri paint. Bansi stood behind him, watching, till the light faded in the studio and Hiralal stopped painting. After which, Bansi played with colours and developed a passion for painting. Hiralal Khatri, a well known artist of Gujarat and master of portraiture, often preferred to paint religious characters, in which there was always a feeling of light. To add to this Bansi’s mentor Ashwin Modi also worked around a central focal point in his paintings, but in a contemporary style. Both gurus had left a strong influence on Bansi and a similar aura crept into Bansi’s subconscious, finding its way in his paintings.
In those days, Bansi lived with his parents in Daulatkhana at Sarangpur in the walled city and his maternal grandfather’s house was in Raipur at Pakhali ni Pol, which could be reached by taking an U-turn or by jumping over roof tops. After school, Bansi, a State level Table Tennis player, instead of playing with other children in the Pol, he preferred to watch his grandfather paint. So, by the time, Bansi became a teenager, he became adept at making pen portraits. Bansi believed at watching is learning and the best form of education. By then, he had decided to become an artist and received encouragement from well known artist Ashwin Modi, who was also his art teacher in school.
Ashwin Modi had made a niche for himself in the national art scene with his white on white forms, which were inspired by Tantric images, the sparse simplicity of shining white marble surfaces and the sanctum - sanctorum of temples. These, mysterious dwelling places of divine light helpedBansi find a path of his own. While seeing the work these masters, Bansi was fascinated by Swaminathan’s later work. Slowly, Bansi became conversant with art trends and joined the C. N. College of Fine Arts with a head brimming with dreams. He completed his Diploma in Drawing & Painting in the year 1986. The years of relief painting belong to the past, but look closely at his canvases and you will see his mastery over colour and subtle textures, schematically inspired from Indian miniature painting. His debut solo show was a success and new horizons opened for Bansi, as he embarked upon a style of painting, through which he could express with ease and passion, using formal geometric shapes, sharp edges and soft curves merging with symbols of Shakti and shiva, which he describes ar Prakriti and Purusha or creative energies, which emerge from forms known and unknown, bathed in an aura of light and illuminate his work.
For Bansi Khatri, this entire shceme of forms, colours and textures is like composing a symphony of light, body and soul, rhythm and silence, life and art. In the taut structure of visible and invisible lines and colours, there is a certain sound of Dhvani which emits from the inner volume of this composition like the sanctum – sanctorum of his inner being; you feel Bansi has created a symphony of colours. Till date Bansi has been conferred with many awards and fellowship. Apart from his achievements he has done several solo and group shows in India. He has also done various types of murals for the prestigious institutions. His paintings are in the collections of renowned art collectors, art lovers and public organizations in India and Abroad.