Born in 1939 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Manu Parekh is a third generation Modernist. He completed a Diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1962.
Vivid colours and prominent lines are an integral part of Parekh’s work and each work exudes the energy that he attempts to capture. Parekh admits to being very strongly influenced by his surroundings. His stay in the city of Calcutta, for instance, drew him towards Santiniketan and the old masters of Indian art, Ram Kinkar Baij and Rabindranath Tagore. His appreciation of their work, more at a perceptual level than stylistic one, urged him to delve deeper into the thoughts that inform his own oeuvre.
Banaras as a city came to play an integral role in Parekh’s work after his first visit there following his father’s death. This holy city of hope, of faith, of tourists offered him a vast number of contradictions in one location. Parekh also highlights his relationship with his wife Madhvi, who is a self-taught artist, and his admiration for Picasso as key influences on his works.