“My work is a reflection of all that I am, all that nature is and all the wonder that exists in our universe.” – Gurudas Shenoy
Artist Gurudas Shenoy’s story is that of a destiny fulfilled. Born in Udupi, a coastal town in Karnataka, Gurudas spent much of his childhood surrounded by breath-taking natural landscapes – lush greens and vast blues of the skies and the seas. Not only was he born in a spectacular haven, he was also born to a reputed artist – Gokuldas Sadanand Shenoy. With throngs of artists visiting their home ever so often, Gurudas practically lived an artist’s life right from the beginning.
His artistic career formally began when he enrolled in his father’s Kala Bharathi School of Art in Udupi. After that, there was no stopping him. He went on to graduate with a BFA from M.S. University in Baroda. Gurudas fondly reminisces about his days in college, where he claims he got the best experiential learning. Being allowed to try their hands at painting, sketching, ceramics and graphics, students at M.S.U. were introduced to different skills and schools of art — realistic, modern and contemporary – and there, Gurudas explored his interests to his heart’s content.
Today, he is a member of the South Kanara Art Council (SKAC) as well as the Bombay Art Society, which conferred upon him the Bendre-Husain National Award. Gurudas also founded the Shenoy Art Foundation to encourage budding artists and guide them in the right direction. With his art being exhibited at noteworthy shows, and having several solo exhibitions to his credit, Gurudas’ fame in artistic circles can hardly be overstated.
Gurudas’ paintings mainly comprise of stunning cityscapes, vividly depicted using an elaborate palette. As he explained in an interview, he often finds a spot with a beautiful view and settles down to observe people and buildings and envisions their stories. Gurudas’ paintings start with preliminary charcoal sketches, followed by striking brushstrokes. His’ artworks capture the structured yet ironically haphazard lives of urban dwellers. Each portrait carries in itself a story that he sees, and delivers a wondrous sight to the onlooker. His work archives the lives of the cities and people he sees, each painting is like an ode to his travels.
His extensive travel across India and Europe inspired much of work. While retaining unique architectural elements from each city, Gurudas manages to convey a mix of emotions aroused quite specifically in that terrain. His muse are buildings and structures that have stood the test of time, evolving with their people, and entangled beautifully around their stories.
Perhaps reflecting his own life, his art continues to morph, his choice of colours, settings and textures dynamically changing over the course of time. Gurudas prefers the combination of oil and canvas, while experimenting now and then with watercolours and acrylics. With his expertise in using colours to portray a fine play of light and shadow, he constructs entire paintings with easy strokes. Gurudas has also dabbled in a variety of media like granite, glass, sandstone and metal. His studio in Bangalore is his favourite space and is his preferred retreat to reflect on life and work.
Gurudas’ skill and style have been greatly influenced by his father, as well as by M. F. Husain, a close friend of his father’s. Gurudas was also the curator of Husain’s museum in Bangalore, “Husain Sankalana”, from 1991 till 2008. A great artist who has grown under the guidance of other greats, and continues to hone the skills of upcoming artists; Gurudas is creating a legacy like none other.
To view Gurudas Shenoy’s artworks and complete collection, click here.