In the daily hustle of life, we somehow forget the creative spirit within and in time it gets lost away. But some lucky few among us manage to find it and preserve it for good. Ujjwal Ankur (31) is one such person. From his infancy, Ujjwal always found a way to draw something that caught his fancy. Soon he realized that this is what he wanted to do and he made this his reality. This is the story of Ujjwal Ankur, an art historian and artist from Noida.
Ever since he can remember, Ankur has held a painting brush in his hand. “Replicating the great Pablo Picasso's saying, “Every child is an artist. In my childhood, I also used to draw and paint like other children. From scribbling on the walls, I started copying the calendrical arts, the figure of God-Goddess, sceneries, etc. Slowly I started getting appreciation from my near ones, which pushed me to continue my passion. Without having any knowledge about the career and opportunities in this field, I kept on making paintings”, says Ankur.
Ujjwal was born in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. After completing his schooling, he completed his graduation in Fine Arts from Jamia Millia Islamia. He then completed his Master's in History of Art from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. By profession, he teaches art history in a college of Noida. His paintings have been displayed at more than 15 art exhibitions.
Every Artist is unique in his own way
What makes this artist unique is his signature style. The language of Ankur's paintings is the staged reaction of a contemporary scenario where everything is amalgamated with modern technology. The recent series of his work deals with the contrast of the outer and inner world of mankind and its activities depicted through metaphorical forms and symbols.
“I have used a unique way to represent my artwork using vibrant colors and unconventional material on a solid and flat monochromatic background. It makes artwork appealing, beautiful as well as meaningful. Altogether, my paintings are made up of acrylic colors and colorful rexine pasted on the canvas. The professional materials make the paintings highly durable and easy to maintain”, says Ankur.
As Ankur says, his paintings give a look of a complete form from a distance, but as the viewers go closer, they will find the symbolic depiction of the hidden story related to the complete form. His deep association with Indian Art History can easily be mirrored in the collection of his artwork.
Ankur explains that any creative exercise is a journey that amalgamates your observation, experience, aesthetic sense, and skills. Portraying emotions on the canvas or any other surface is a gradual process for him. "It keeps revolving inside me to find a concrete visual shape or form. Once it is finalized, it is being transferred to the desired surface. So if I try to define the process, then it would be: Experience – Emotion – Observation – Representation – Aesthetics”, says Ankur while talking about his style.
Ankur is currently working on his PhD from the University of Kota Rajasthan. “My research is on one of India's unique but extinct artforms known as “VAJJIKA ART”. This is the folk art form of Vajjikanchal, commonly known as Bajjikanchal. The area covers the six districts of north Bihar i.e Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Samastipur, Vaishali, Sheohar, and East Champaran. The place is considered as the Land of Mahatma Buddha, the birthplace of Mahavira and Goddess Sita”, says Ankur narrating his research.
He further said that the art form practiced here has a great history and legacy, and its style is very much different from the other Indian art forms. “Once this artform is re-established, our country will be adorned with a new kind of art form. Vajjikanchal will regain its cultural identity, and it can further be pushed towards geographical indication (GI) and small-scale industries, says Ankur.
Ankur who has now established himself as a painter for the past 10 years wanted to be a part of the Air Force. A painting where Ankur depicts his love for the Indian Airforce and at the same time his passion for art can be found hanging in his drawing-room. “I still dream of joining the AirForce and it will be there till the time I am alive on this earth. But what I am doing today makes me happy. What I am not able to speak, I paint”, says Ankur.