“Narration comes to me naturally; I have been fond of telling stories since my childhood.” – Badri Narayan (1929 – 2013)
Badri Narayan was born in July 1929, in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh. He has worked as an art teacher and an artist, but has always remained a deeply introspective individual. His self-reflection and autobiographical tones are the most constant themes in Narayan’s work.
The artist’s paintings are a narrative; where one must work to unravel the complexities in order to interpret and understand his art. Symbolism is a recurring feature of his works, though sometimes, he also uses popular icons of Indian culture like Ganesha. He explains, “I have picked up the imagery that surrounds me, the one I am born into, and it comes naturally.” Narayan draws heavily from Indian mythology and metaphors and acknowledges the influence of the Indian miniature tradition in his works. The artist appreciates the two-dimensionality of painting, and prefers to work in a smaller format; one that he finds practical and well suited for the watercolours that have been his preferred medium for several years. Narayan has also worked with etchings, woodcuts and ceramics and illustrated some children’s books.
Narayan has had over fifty national and international shows and his works are in several permanent collections, including the National Gallery of Modern Art and National Museum in New Delhi. A prolific writer, he has written on art, folklore, mythology; short stories, verse and tales for children, and illustrated books. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1987 and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puruskar in 1990.