Both Bijay Parida and Rabindra Behera are renowned Pattachitra artists. Both have been recognised with prestigious awards for their skill and contribution to the traditional art form. Their life journeys have numerous similarities and some differences, but one common thread that runs seamlessly between these two great artists is their undying love, dedication, and passion for Pattachitra art.
Famous Pattachitra Artist
Rabindra Behera and Bijay Parida both hail from Odisha, the epicentre of Pattachitra paintings and art. Both the artists started young and under the tutelage and guidance of Pattachitra artists and gurus, painted their way to become leading Pattachitra artists of our time. Besides, they are known for their mesmerising paintings of scenes, gods and characters from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Bijay Kumar Parida was born in Puri and resides in Sisupalgarh in Odisha. He grew up surrounded by the temples of Lord Jagannath, where he often saw the Pattachitra paintings as a kid. But it was only later, after his training and tryst with the Pattachitra art, that he started understanding and acknowledging these paintings in a different light.
With over 50 years of experience in Pattachitra paintings, Bijay Parida doesn’t come from an artistic lineage. He hails from a business family, and it was his father’s friend who spotted his talent for drawing and suggested he join the Orissa Handicraft Training and Design Centre. Armed with the learning of two years and a degree, Bijay Parida then spent almost five years training under Gokul Bihari Pattnaik. It was in 1978, when Parida was only 20 that he set out to make a career in Pattachitra art on his own. He was conferred with the Shilp Guru Award in 2018 and the State and the National Award in 1996.
Style and Theme
Pattachitra artist Bijay Parida follows the traditional and typical styles and themes of Pattachitra painting. However, he believes that just as the handwriting of no two people is the same, similarly, each artist brings a unique style and touch to his or her paintings.
One of the distinct features of Bijay Parida’s Pattachitra paintings is the usage of two colours – black from lamp soot and geru or red extracted from the geru stone. Many of his paintings adhere to this colour scheme to highlight emphasis and impact. Besides, he often tries to depict stories from epics without making them religious. For instance, in one of his paintings, in place of Krishna, he depicted another woman performing the sringar of Radha. Also, many of his most exquisite works have been created on palm leaf and silk pattas.
Rabindra Behara, from the young age of 11, showed immense talent. His family encouraged him to pursue art, and he completed a two-year training on Pattachitra painting at the State Institute of Handicraft Training in Bhubaneswar. He was also guided and trained by Jagannath Mahapatra, a renowned Pattachitra artist in Raghurajpur, Odisha. Since 1983, Rabindra Behera has been carving a niche in Pattachitra art with beautiful paintings on palm leaves, silks, canvasses and more. He was awarded the Fellowship Award by the Government of India in 2000 and 2002, the State Award in 2003, the Odisha Lalit Kala Academy Award in 2008 and the National Award in 2008.
Style and Theme
Rabindra Behera paints scenes from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana, including stories of Lord Shiva and Krishna. His Pattachitra painting also includes animals, birds, nature and symmetrical and geometric designs.
Continuing the Legacy
Both Bijay Parida and Rabindra Behara have contributed tremendously to the Pattachitra art. These Pattachitra artists have participated in multiple workshops and exhibitions, showcasing their skill and creativity in India as well as internationally. With their years of experience, expertise, practice, creativity, and efforts, they continue to take this art forward.
They cover their knowledge and techniques of Pattachitra in a detailed course, which you can find on the Rooftop app. From sketching outlines to painting techniques, you’ll get a chance to explore so much about Pattachitara art.
At the Rooftop app, we are honoured to collaborate with various artists who teach traditional Indian art forms. To learn about our courses and workshops, visit rooftopapp.com or download it from the Play Store or iOS store.