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Shashikant Dhotre

City of Origin: Sholapur, Maharashtra, India

Born to Art: 1982

Shashikant Dhotre’s artworks of colour pencils and dry pastels is distinctive. A self-taught artist, Shashikant engraves life-like images of rural women and their ‘day in a life’ on canvas. His photorealistic protrayal is led by intricate details and a beautiful play of light that set the mood for vivid colours of the traditional Indian fabrics and the sombre backdrop of a rural village setting.

Born to a mason father, Shashikant has worked his way through art. After dropping out of college for lack of education funds, Sashikant took to art with humble materials like a pencil and paper. And, today he has made this as his signature style.

Your practice is inspired by…

Keeping it real and simple. I protray the life and lifestyles of rural women –- a piece from my childhood memories. This artwork comes naturally to me. I belong to this setting – the rural hinterland and its life. A lot my work is based on observation and I try to capture the minutest details like the folds of the sari, the hair, skin texture, smiles and even the melancholy on their faces.

Your take on life…

I had to drop out of college due to financial constraints. But, something kept me pushing to go beyond my restrictions. It would have been great to get a formal art education, but life has been a great teacher, too. I have met so many people along the way, who have taught me ways to go beyond traditional methods and explore further.

A word on art…

Art is what we see around you. And, all you need to appreciate art is look around – it’s simple!

Awards and Recognition:

2017 – Raja Ravi Varma Chitrakar Samman

2016 – Maharashtrian of the Year Awards

2015 – Kohinoor of Maharashtra Awards

2013 – State Art Exhibition Awards

2011 – India Art Festival Awards

2009 – Bombay Arts Society Awards