Jyoti Bhatt


Born in 1934 in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Jyoti Bhatt is best known for his intricate paintings and his extensive documentation of Indian rural life through his photographs. He studied painting and printmaking at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, from 1950 – 1956. Bhatt’s career as a painter and printmaker began in the 1950s, and continued into the late ‘60s. His paintings contain elements of India’s numerous indigenous art forms, and they are often filled with details of these. They are populated with motifs borrowed from cross-stitch embroidery, rangoli motifs and traditional calligraphic ideograms, from what he encountered in Saurashtra.
Jyoti Bhatt’s paintings do not merely show a blend of traditional motifs. His early studies of fresco and mural painting at Vanasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan, manifest as weathered, granular textures in his paintings. The stylised figures appear to stem from often repeated legends and myths; they border on fantasy, yet resemble scenes and people one is familiar with. Narratives abound in his paintings—man and beast co-exist and interact with one another, birthing tales about rustic life.
From the 1970s onwards, Bhatt turned to photography. He was compelled to pick up a camera and record rural life in Gujarat and Maharashtra, including the arts and traditions which are under risk of fading away. He has travelled extensively across the country and is credited with creating a vast archive of photographs.
Bhatt has exhibited across India and the world. He has had solo exhibitions in Mumbai, Baroda, Kolkata, and New Delhi in India, as well as one in the USA. He has been a part of group exhibitions held by the Centre of International Modern Art, Kolkata, and Gallery Ensign, New Delhi, among others. Bhatt has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, conferred upon him by the Academy of Visual Media, New Delhi, in 2005, and had received the Fulbright Scholarship and John D. Rockefeller IIIrd Award for Printmaking at Pratt Institute, USA, in 1964-66.
StoryLTD features a number of paintings, prints and photographs by Jyoti Bhatt. Buy Jyoti Bhatt paintings, prints and photographs on StoryLTD.