His name might not be very familiar to the coastal people, but he has successfully carved a niche for himself in the big cities.
He is veteran artist Devdas Shetty, a resident of Mumabi who hails from Surathkal. The brilliant artist, Shetty, is currently in temple town Moodbidri to partake in Alva’s Varna Virasat, where few of his paintings are on display. At the age of 65, Shetty may be a big name in the field of art, but then he modestly recalls the struggles he has undergone as a young wannabe artist in 1970s.
Speaking to City Herald, Shetty said that his journey as an artist was not a bed of roses. “Being born and brought up in Mumbai in a Bunt family, I had to face several obstacles, with my family not supporting my decision of considering art as a profession. There were hundreds of hurdles on my way trying to curb my dream of being an artist. After pursuing graduation from Model Arts Institute at Mumbai, I had to literally struggle to sell my paintings,” he recalls.
Today Shetty might be one of the most sought out artists in the nation, who has the credit of holding 54 solo exhibitions and whose paintings are purchased by Taj Group of Hotels, Tata’s, Reliance Industries among others, yet his mind is afresh with the memories of the struggling days of his career. When his associates charge more than Rs 1 lakh for a painting, Shetty has made it a point to sell his painting at reasonable cost, not exceeding Rs 50,000.
“I remember the days when I sold my paintings for Rs 200 as there were no takers and it will be offensive on my part to cheat my clients by fixing sky rocketing prices,” says Shetty.
Though Shetty began his career as a landscape artist, today he is well known for his creations of murals using metal and oil.
If his hundred feet length painting of Diwali celebration in India has set a record as one of the huge paintings created so far, the painting of lord Ganesha using ‘Om’ signs is the most innovative experiment done by Shetty. His paintings including ‘Freedom,’ ‘Evening Song,’ ‘Cockfights,’ ‘Naga Mandala’ and others have been widely appreciated by the art critics.
Ask him what art means to him, he says, art is all about passion. It reflects the artist’s innermost voice, the voice which otherwise goes unheard. Shetty, who has restrained himself from taking part in any of the art contests, politely says, to see a child loving his art is the ultimate reward he can ever get.
This is for the second time Shetty is taking part in Alva’s Virasat and he considers it as a privilege to be a part of the event.
“To be with artists of different styles and stands and to paint in a tranquil atmosphere of Mijar is a blissful experience. I thank Dr Alva for inviting me here,” he says.