It is not surprising that Gandhi is an inspiration to every Indian, but for an iconic Indian artist who spent most of his life in France to create paintings inspired by the Mahatma, is not a usual phenomenon.
The artist is Sayed Haider Raza who came to India to spend the last five-and-half years of his life and artistic career. Mahatma remained etched in his mind since when he was 8-years-old when he first saw Gandhiji.
Towards the end of his life, in 2013, Raza painted a set of paintings by way of his tribute to the Mahatma.
Titled 'Gandhi in Raza', the exhibition of seven paintings at Aakar Prakar Gallery, is a testimony to the fact that throughout his life, Raza continued to feel deeply interested in the Gandhian ideals, inspired by the concepts of truth and peace.
The show also marks the 95th birth anniversary of the master-artist. A book by the same name has also been released.
Thinker Gopal Krishna Gandhi, Gandhiji's grandson, and Raza's close poet-critic friend Ashok Vajpeyi have contributed to the volume with an essay each.
This book also carries an essay written by the master artist Nandalal Bose to provide a historical perspective and to recall the deep interest Mahatma had in arts.
Says Reena Lath, director of Aakar Prakar, "These seven paintings were made as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, as an expression of reverence. It is like a parikrama by a painter around a great soul who always inspired him. Each canvas clearly highlights the mood and regard that the artist felt towards this great man. Raza has made many works of art in his lifetime using the ideology and words of Mahatma Gandhi; but he personally selected these seven works as tribute to the Mahatma."
'Gandhi in Raza' is on at Akar Prakar gallery, 29, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi from March 1 to March 31, 2017, 11 am to 7 pm Sundays closed.