We all know about the awesomeness of Bijay Biswaal and his paintings. He is a well-known personality not only in India but across the globe, so much so that even our country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded his work.
Bijay has resigned from the designation of ticket examiner at the Indian Railways, where he worked for about 25 years. The reason behind quitting the job is the inclination towards his art. Recently, Bijay started painting the lanes, major squares and other scenic places of Nagpur on his canvas and the posts are going viral on social media.
Reacho caught up with Bijay for an interview where he spoke about his background, Nagpur being a perfect muse and why he won’t ever paint Taj Mahal.
Q: People know about Bijay Biswaal, the ticket examiner who is also a great painter. But they hardly know about your background.
A: Even though I’m from Odisha, I go wherever my work takes me. Hence, I was transferred to Nagpur, as a part of my job with the Indian Railways, some 25 years ago. And since then, I’m in love with this city. I’m a self-taught artist who started painting during his childhood days. It was 2011 when I started painting, professionally.
Q: There are so many beautiful cities in India, which could’ve been a perfect setting for all your paintings. So, why do you choose Nagpur as the backdrop for your recent paintings?
A: First of all, Nagpur is green, clean and beautiful. So there are multiple reasons why I chose Nagpur for these paintings. Moreover, the city also has its share of some ancient architectural marvels, especially in Mahal area. Hence, I liked the idea of capturing the essence of everyday places in the city, on my canvas. These are the places and areas that we take for granted. Thus, I thought that it was the perfect time we celebrate what we think is ordinary.
Q: Have you ever not thought about painting iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal or the Konark Temple?
A: People have asked me this question, several times. But my answer is simple. There’s no need to celebrate a monument which is already celebrated. Monuments like Taj Mahal and Konark Temple have been rendered by artists, photographers, and filmmakers, down the century. India is so vast and varied, then why limit oneself as an artist? Why not celebrate the ordinary and turn the seemingly everyday mundane locations into an extraordinary piece of art.
Q: Talking about locations, what all places from Nagpur have you covered in your paintings?
A: I have painted various locations of this city. The most prominent being the Nagpur Railway Station, RBI building, Variety square, old traditional structures in Mahal, Maharaj Baug, Ghat road, Medical square, Itwari and Central Avenue road. I haven’t limited myself to Nagpur and also painted places like Kanhan and Shivangaon.
Q: What thoughts and preparations do you put in when you’re at the painting location?
A: When I’m on the location, I try to paint in watercolors as it is very handy and the result is instant as well. Also, you get artistic satisfaction, when you use watercolors, which is not possible in other opaque mediums like oil or acrylic paints.
Q: Are there any plans to display these paintings so that fellow Nagpurians can also enjoy seeing them?
A: Yes, I do have plans of exhibiting my works in and around Vidarbha. But that would be possible only when I have enough collection of paintings of Nagpur.
Take a look at some of the stunning paintings by Bijay Biswaal, dedicated to the incredible city that Nagpur is!
1. From the lanes of Orange city!
2. The iconic Sitabuldi square
3. Glimpses of Nagpur's railway station
4. Stunning, isn't it!
6. Various shades of the city
7. Incredible Manas square
8. The oh-so-popular Panchasheel square
9. Nagpur's monsoon is to die for!
10. Lanes soaked in old-world charm
11. The ultimate shopping hub: Sitabuldi
12. Here are some other citings from the city
All photos sourced from artist's Facebook page with his permission.