Artists pay tribute to Lord Ganesha through their works.

It was a new beginning for Vinod Kiran. This artisan from Warangal has been creating masks and dolls (used for storytelling) with nakashi, the traditional art form. As this was yielding little money, he decided to break away from the tradition and create something which suits modern tastes. With a prayer on his lips, he first created an organic Ganesha out of tamarind seed powder and saw dust. As the pot-bellied Ganesha watched the proceedings, Vinod went on to create alluring horses, birds and surreal elements out of nakashi. “Before starting anything new, it is our tradition to invoke blessings of Lord Ganesha,” says Avani Rao Gandra.

Vinod is one among the many artisans who took part in the workshop organised at Earth Art Gallery. Lord Ganesha has always been favourite subject with artists. As a symbol of good luck and prosperity, artists seek divine blessings by painting Him in all hues and mediums. They continue their artistic journey by innovating with different subjects but there are some artists whose creative world lights up by painting only Ganesha. At Kamalnayan Bajaj Gallery in Nariman Point in Mumbai, Lord Ganesha in 34 different poses is smiling at all. City-based artist Vijay Belde is showcasing his life-size Ganesha paintings in an exhibition titled ‘Praise and Pose.’ “Lord Ganesha is a hero among all the Gods,” says Vijay. His inspiration for the current series is from mythology. “Ganesha’s form, structure, big stomach and small eyes… everything about Him is charming. He is my hero and the best-looking God,” says the artist.

Every Ganesh Chaturthi, artist Bala Bhakta Raju chants ‘Jai Ganesh bolo’ as he holds an exhibition of his Ganesha paintings. Popular as a ‘Ganesha artist’, Bala Bhakta Raju brings out his love for music and dance too. This year, his nritya Ganeshas occupy a centre stage at Icon Art Gallery. Using acrylic colours on canvas, the colour palette is vibrant with reds, yellows and oranges. The elephant-headed God welcomes the visitors as he plays a flute, veena and a dhol. “Ganesha stands for wisdom and is a sign of good omen,” states Bala Bhakta Raju. Sixty-plus artist Korasala Sita Rama Swamy’s Ganeshas appear in different forms. He has completed 5555 Ganeshas till now and his aim is to paint one lakh Ganeshas. Using different mediums like acrylic, wood and wood carving, he paints his works in such a way that no two Ganeshas are similar. The artist from Amalapuram has held exhibitions in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. “I visited the Pune Ashtavinayak and was fascinated with it. I was engrossed to see the Ganesha in an abstract form,” he says. The artist compares his favourite Ganesha to a magnet. “I am mesmerised by his form and sometimes when I see the clouds, I feel like He is walking with a pot-bellied stomach and trunk,” he says.