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Rajendra Shyam

About the Artist

Rajendra Shyam Rajendra has exhibited his work at Nottingham's New Art Exchange Gallery, London in 2009. Raju in collaboration with Venkant Shyam also painted a 70kg fiberglass elephant, Udata Hathi as a part of the Elephant Parade Mela. His depictions of tales of deity Bada Dev have been exhibitited at Horniman Art Gallery London in June 2011.

Rajendra Shyam was born in Patangarh village in 1974.

Rajendra Shyam, depicts the Gondi tales in great detail on his canvases. His paintings are dense in their treatment and there is perfect symmetry. His favourite colour is brown in all its shades. He has adopted banda, the rope used to bind sheaves of grain, as his motif to provide texture to his forms. “It is the banda which ties the crops so the farmer can sell them and feed his family.” In gratitude, Rajendra uses the symbol as his signature.

As a child, Rajendra was drawn to digna and bhittichitra. With his sisters and their mother, Bera Bai, he would plaster walls with cow dung and then decorate them with digna patterns and floral designs. He was often taunted about this passion for decoration – as this was seen as “girls’ work”. But Rajendra believed in doing what he loved most – painting. Rajendra fondly remembers the love of his elder brother who never ever scolded him. He always encouraged him to study, saying: “You will get a good job in future if you concentrate on your studies now.” When Rajendra was in Class X, he lost his beloved brother and could not continue his studies, as he had to work to support his family.

He and his companions would go deep into the forest to fetch firewood. Sometimes they spent the night in the forest, with people from other villages. As they sat around the fire they had built to keep wild animals away, an old man from the group would tell them stories. So gripping were his tales, that they sometimes stayed up all night, listening spellbound.

After Rajendra was married he went to Bhopal in search of work. For a time he worked for his uncle, Jangarh Shyam. He then worked as a labourer before he joined Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), where for eight years he cleaned, plastered, or tended the lawns in the daytime and then went home in the evenings, to paint. While he was at work his wife, Sushila, would fill colour into his figures. No matter how hard up they were they found the money for canvas and paint, which were as essential to them as food and water.

One day Rajendra showed his paintings to Shampa Shah of IGRMS, who was so impressed, she told him: “You had better quit your job and take up painting full time.” It was not until 2007 that he was able to act on her advice. Rajendra is a full fledged artist now, determined to go on painting about village life and the enchanting tales he heard from the old storyteller around the fire, deep in the forest.

(courtesy of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts - India)

Rajendra Shyam was born in Patangarh village in 1974, and learned painting from his uncle Jangarh Singh Shyam. In addition to the exhibitions in India and abroad, he has also participated in the state-run art camps and Gond art animation production. Rajendra paints folklore tales he heard from his grandmother and animals in a sweet touch. His characteristic pattern designs are imagined from the moon reflected on the water surface.

Rajendra Shyam depicts the Gondi tales in great detail on his canvases. His favourite colour is brown in all its shades. He has adopted banda, the rope used to bind sheaves of grain, as his signature infill motiff to provide texture to his forms.

Rajendra has exhibited his work at Nottingham's New Art Exchange Gallery, London in 2009. Raju in collaboration with Venkant Shyam also painted a 70kg fiberglass elephant, Udata Hathi as a part of the Elephant Parade Mela. His depictions of tales of deity Bada Dev have been exhibitited at Horniman Art Gallery London in June 2011.

Region:
Wood-Cutters in the Forest
SKU: RJS-1203

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2011
Black ink on paper
(14" h. x 11" w. )

$300 framed

Five Tigers
SKU: RJS-2103

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2020
Acrylic on paper
(14" h. x 11" w. sheet)

$240

Rajendra Shyam
SKU: RJS-1303

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2013
Ink on handmade paper
(13 3/4" h. x 11" w. )

$225

Rajendra Shyam
SKU: RJS-1302

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2013
Acrylic and ink on handmade paper
(14" h. x 10" w. )

$220

Two Tigers #2
SKU: RJS-2102

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2020
Acrylic on paper
(7" h. x 11" w. sheet)

$145

Shivji and the Mahua flowers (the stages of intoxication)
SKU: Gond-8

Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State
c.2011
Acrylic on canvas
(48" h. x 30" w. )

In this painting the artist depicts the stages a person goes through when he is intoxicated. Once Lord Shiva was doing penance under a tree he felt thirsty; he looked around for water and found it in a hollow of the Mahua tree. He did not realize that the water contained fermented Mahua flowers. After sipping some, he was euphoric, felt light in the head and became very talkative and chirped like a parrot. He could not resist and had some more. The more he had the louder and aggressive he got, it was as though he had taken the persona of a tiger. By this time he had lost all his senses and could not stand and started rolling on the ground like a wild boar.

$3200

Product Status: 
Returned to Artist
Tiger - Rajendra Shyam
SKU: RJS-201214

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2012
Acrylic on paper
(15" h. x 11" w. sheet)

$400 framed

Product Status: 
Sold
Two Tigers #1
SKU: RJS-2101

Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2020
Acrylic on paper
(11" h. x 7" w. sheet)

$145

Product Status: 
Sold

Indian Contemporary Art: Contemporary, One Word, Several Worlds

Text by Hervé Perdriolle
Photographs by Hervé Perdriolle and others.
5 Continents Editions, Milan, 2012
248 pages

Product Status: 
Sold
$55.00