INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
- Born in 1934 in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India
- Lives and works in Baroda, Gujarat, India
UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST
Bhatt began his artistic career as a painter and printmaker. He moved from his early works that reflected cubist influence to a gleeful and densely pictured world that often drew its imagery from traditional Indian folk designs. His etchings, intaglios and screen prints comprised of symbols that stem from Indian culture – the peacock, the lotus, the parrot, stylized Indian gods and goddesses, and endless variations on tribal and village designs.
As an artist his goal was to preserve and to seek inspiration from the rapidly disappearing folk art traditions of the rural India. He has worked in a variety of mediums, including oils and watercolours. However, it is his prints that are most associated with him. Bhatt explains that his paintings did not have “painterly quality”, but were more graphic. With his etchings, intaglios and screen-prints he explored graphic and prints.
In 1967, Bhatt was asked by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mumbai to document Gujarat's folk art for a project. That is when his journey as a photographer started. The idea was to document their lifestyles before they get lost forever – this had already captivated him. Since then, he has concentrated on capturing living art in rural homes that have been increasingly disappearing because of modern, consumerist lifestyles. His camera replaced his sketchbook and he captured anything and everything on his travel to villages in Gujarat and other states.
His photography is considered significant for he's captured a very important slice of history through his lens but what's striking in his photographs is the way they are composed, giving great attention to background details and surroundings.
Jyoti Bhatt, A boy with a bicycle in Dhordo, Gujarat, modern silver gelatin print
Jyoti Bhatt,Untitled,2014, inkjet print of a 1956 drawing, 16.14 x 10.94 in
Jyoti Bhatt, A child in Santiniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal, 1978, modern silver gelatin print
Jyoti Bhatt, Woman with Horse, 1964, linocut and screen print on paper, 53.3 x 36.8 cm
Jyoti Bhatt, Four blind men, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, 1968, modern silver gelatin print
Jyoti Bhatt, Self Portrait, etching and stencil, 1970
Jyoti Bhatt, Lady and a bird, 1961, oil on canvas, 13.98 x 22.05 in
Jyoti Bhatt, Self Portrait in New York, 1964, etching print on paper, 18.5 x 13.1 in
Jyoti Bhatt, Mother & Child, 1961, linocut
Jyoti Bhatt, Together Forever, 2010, reverse painting in mixed media on transparent plastic film, 15.55 x 11.02 in