Exclusive: Renowned painter Paresh Maity’s hunger for all things new, from cricket to clothes



Dressed impeccably in a long aubergine jacket, textured straight pants, with embroidered birds flying all over, and a beret tilted to the left, Indian painter Paresh Maity’s persona at the India Art Fair 2024 (IAF) in New Delhi reveals he’s a people’s person.

“I pick my own fabrics, supervise the tailoring and tell the designer what I want embroidered, and where. The outfit you see me in here is a result of that,” he laughs, adding, “It is grounded, yet aesthetically appealing.”

Many times during the interview, he would have to usher visitors to his booth, explain his work, and apologetically return to continue the conversation. With friends and fans around, he is quite the star attraction.


His middle-class upbringing, in the non-descript town of Tamluk, in West Bengal, instilled in him the confidence to succeed. He had to learn the hard way, but he did.

“Tamluk, in the south-west of Kolkata, is a historic coastal town, dating to the third century,” says Maity. When he was seven, he saw idols being made, and that got him interested into pursuing art. Today, after five decades in the field, the Padma Shri winner says, “The India Art Fair that embraces myriad artists and their artworks under one roof has grown. The future of art is dynamic and is evolving beautifully. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I opened a digital art exhibition that gave me unlimited access to a whole lot of people. My audience spanned the world. Everything is available on the phone now. All these changes are magical.”


His installation at the IAF is a 16-ft-long, 200 kg gold-plated stainless steel mridangam, which took him one year to craft was brought by the Art Alive Gallery. Previously, in 2022, he had showcased a trumpet measuring 15 feet at India’s largest solo exhibition titled ‘Infinite Light’. The magnificent centrepiece was surrounded by an ensemble of 45 smaller trumpets.

“The mridangam – a symbol of Shiva tandava – is my leitmotif. When you create something, it brings together art, music and culture. The design element cannot be ignored as that gives rhythm and structure, just like we find in engineering, physics or chemistry,” says Maity.

“I paint the celebration of life,” he smiles. “If you observe my art, it is easy to understand – even a child can relate to it.”


Nature is Maity’s biggest inspiration. “It teaches you everything. I practice spirituality. Most of my figurative paintings have musical instruments. My life is all about art and music,” he says. “My brushstrokes are straight and contemporary; you will react to it.”

Maity’s painting of the Banaras Ghat received the highest bid of ₹74.5 lakh at an auction for a project to clean the Ganga.


He is also a multidimensional artist. For ‘Cricket’s Greatest Canvas’, an initiative launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Maity brought out the grandeur of 10 World Cup venues. Viewers got to witness his creativity live at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

“Watercolours are my heart and soul,” says Maity, who has worked with paper and canvas, oil and acrylic, mixed media, sculptures, and photography to capture the sand dunes of Rajasthan, the backwaters of Kerala, the canals of Venice, and the lake of Geneva. “I hunger for new things. If I was not an artist, I would have dabbled in design, crafting wearable art, as both are interlinked and help create your own language.”




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