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December 2008 - January 2009


Dot to Dot - And the Portrait is there! Introducing an Indian artist of a high calibre

by Krishan Ralleigh

Shailendra Khairnar, an Indian portrait artist was recently in London and came to India Link office to show some interesting paintings. I was intrigued to see some of the portraits of Gandhi, Ganesha and various other Sports and Bollywood personalities done, you will be surprised to note, in concentrated dots and various shades of grey and black pencil. The striking images created by tiny dots take hours to complete; but once done, the finished product becomes a work of art to be cherished by the connoisseur of art in any part of the world.

Shailendrasingh Indrasingh Khairnar, hails frm Jalgaon, Maharashtra; and is very proud of his heritage. Being Maharashtrian, his cricket hero is naturally Sachin Tendulkar. He has also painted different attributes of Lord Ganesha.

Nevertheless, Shailendra’s full devotion is to the founder of Modern India, Mahatama Gandhi, whose personality and lifestyle he adores and endeavours to put on canvas, in his own inimitable style of ‘dot to dot’ and there it is ‘the enlivened portrait’ for posterity.

The impact of Gandhiji’s life on the art of Shailendra is so dominant that he would not care to spend his own hard-earned money to go to any function being held in memory of the Mahatma and support the cause. He has depicted the ‘Bapu’ in various struggles of his life. His early childhood in Rajkot, student days in England and the first movement for human dignity he started in South Africa. Mahatma’s ‘dandi march’ showing his style of walking, communicating and inspiring is almost lifelike.

It is often said that man is born out of a grain of dust; and in dust he goes back after his death. The grains of dust, with the help of God, are given a life for a certain period. Similary, Shailendra uses the tehnique of using dots (and plenty of them) to bring to life the portrait of his subjects, be a celebrity or an ordinary human beings.

A graduate in science, Shailendra began his journey in art as a hobby; and gradually got so hooked on his unique style of portrait painting that Bill Clinton, Amitabh Bachchan and even Michael Jackson have found time to appreciate his art.

Now 47, Shailendra roves round the world to spread the message of truth and non-violence through his art. Hence his journey to London and our meeting perchance.

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