Thakare Naik has persisted through poverty to follow his passion in art. The 39-year old member of the Lambada tribe of Andhra Pradesh began his career begging on the street. He was helped by a village teacher and eventually was inspired to apply for art programs. With the help of scholarships from the government and Kalakriti Art Gallery, he pursued a diploma in traditional painting at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Traditional Sculpture and Architecture (Tirupati), a BFA in fine arts from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University (Hyderabad), and an MFA in painting from Visva Bharathi University (Santiniketan). Through these programs, he gained a variety of artistic perspectives, from traditional styles and media to contemporary and experimental methods. He later moved to Baroda to join its bustling art community, and after eight years returned home to Andhra Pradesh to continue his work in Ananthapur. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions and has received awards from the Andhra Pradesh government and the Gagan Mahal Trust.
As the only person with a locomotor impairment in his art programs, Naik was conscious of the difficulty of making a living through art. From being unable to afford crutches to achieving recognition from the state, he still lives a simple life kept just afloat by small art sales. However, his artwork is informed by years of rigorous formal study. His thoroughly modern and visually thought-provoking mixed media works tell his story clearly and masterfully. He can be followed through his Facebook page.
For inquiries about all available art, please contact Not Just Art.
- Bed - Charcoal and acrylic on paper, 21x28" [available]. The artist sleeping on the ground, in front of a large sun and far off buildings. All are in shades of black and white, and a deep blue background. (#THNA001)
- Beginning of the Life 1982-1991 - Charcoal and acrylic on paper, 21x28” [available]. The artist as a child, kneeling on the ground as he begs for money. An adult hand hands him a coin. A large sun is behind them. All are in shades of black and white, and a deep blue background. (#THNA002)
- Five Heads - Mixed media on paper, 14x10” [sold]. Several mountains converge into head-shaped formations. All are in shades of black and white, and a deep blue background. (#THNA003)
- Untitled [Birds I] - Mixed media on paper, 18x28” [available]. Several multicolored birds surround a series of concentric rings of black sand, converging into a small mound in the center. (#THNA004)
- Untitled [Birds II] - Mixed media on paper, 18x28" [available]. Several multicolored birds surround a large mound of black sand. (#THNA005)
- New City of the Life (2014) - Acrylic on canvas, 3x4’ [available]. Several trees rise out of green grass, bearing buildings and houses as their fruit. An airplane in the upper left corner flies through a cloudy blue sky. Three cars are parked at the bases of the trees. (#THNA006)
- New City of the Life II (2014) - Acrylic on canvas, 3x4’ [available]. Several rocky mountains converge into two head-shaped formations (male and female). White trees bearing buildings are in the distance. A cluster of houses rests at the foot of the mountains. (#THNA007)
- Untitled (2017) - Mixed media on paper, 36x48” [available]. A series of red prosthetic legs containing buildings are dispersed throughout a brown landscape, connected by ladder-like bridges. Buildings are visible in the distance. (#THNA008)
- Dream (2017) - Mixed media on paper, 26x48” [available]. Three four-legged hybrid animals wearing shoes bear tall buildings on their backs. They cross a dusty landscape with buildings in the distance, moving toward the sun in the top right corner. (#THNA009)
- Knee Ankle Foot (2017) - Mixed media on paper, 36x48” [b]. A large prosthetic leg bears buildings on top, in front of a dark city landscape. (#THNA010)
- Beyond Limits 2013: National Exhibition of Artworks Made by Artists with Disabilities. Family of Disabled, 2013.
- Ruperal, Prashant. "Disabled Artist Struggles to Put Up Solo Show." The Times of India, 22 Sept. 2015.
- Terel, Tushar. "Now, Temple Town Karnali to Display 'Artistic' Dustbins." The Times of India, 6 Sept. 2016.
- TNN. "Disabled Vadodara Artist Paints Away Poverty Blues." The Times of India, 23 Sept. 2014.