Oil On Canvas

My ash-smeared body
A tika on my forehead
A chillum between my lips
I sit on the far bank of the Varanasi
Watching corpses burn on the Manikarnika

I hear the mourners’ wrenching cries
As I meditate on death
And what follows
Are the fervent chants of devotees
It sometimes makes me reflect

Looking at people gazing at me
I refill my chillum and carry on
Blowing smoke in the air
Sculpting monuments
Of different shapes and sizes

This photorealistic painting of a Sadhu showcases a lifestyle of  austerity. The Sadhu’s face indicates an incessant flow of piety. He  doesn’t lose the realization of getting back to the grind in his  unrelenting stance. The intricate technique of pointillism deploys an elevated perception. The strong colors in shades of yellow  and orange showing turmeric and vermillion denote spirituality. The  smoke comes from cannabis which the sadhus use to fall into a trance and  feel one with God. The wrinkles on his ash laden skin reveal persistent  participation in rituals. All this in a diligent search for moksha  (salvation). A slight shade of yellow on his fingers and the background  illuminates the whole subject, perhaps hinting that this Sadhu might be  very close to achieving liberation. The ‘Sadhu’ series was inspired by Kumbh Mela, a Hindu festival known for its grandeur and value.


Viveek Sharma, a dynamic personality in the world of painters, believes in creating  art which retains one’s identity. Born in 1968 in Mumbai, he graduated  in Fine Arts from Sir J J School of Arts. Viveek stays true to his roots  of land and culture, and works with finesse and embeds brilliance into  his paintings. His oeuvre is inspired by the likes of Rembrandt and Salvador Dali,  and he often credits his father being his support. His substantial use  of pointillism is a strong hand which delivers a larger than life output  allowing the observer to discern the copious emotions that life has to  offer. He has been described as the painter of metaphors.


Since Kumbh Mela has just begun in Prayagraj, Desee is showcasing Viveek Sharma’s artwork, an ideal fit for the occasion!

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