Kashmir Indepth

Vishal Mothilall, a Young Durban-Based Artist of Indian Origin, Opens His Studio to Indian Art Lovers with Unique Paintings

Vishal Mothilall, a Young Durban-Based Artist of Indian Origin, Opens His Studio to Indian Art Lovers with Unique Paintings

Mumbai: Vishal Mothilall, a young artist from Durban with Indian heritage, is set to open his studio to Indian art lovers, showcasing his distinctive paintings that creatively portray Indian gods and goddesses.

In December 2022, during his first visit to Mumbai, Vishal unveiled his debut divine painting, ‘Sri Shyam Kunj’, a depiction of Lord Krishna, at a private exhibition organized by Mr. Jayesh Rathod, a prominent real estate consultant and co-founder of The Guardians Real Estate Advisory. Vishal now presents a series of paintings featuring Hindu deities such as Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Maa Saraswati, and more. These unique forms are dedicated to art lovers in India, especially those fond of religious and spiritual fine art. Vishal plans to visit India again for another exhibition to showcase his complete range of artworks.

Born in Durban to a family of Indian origin with ancestral roots in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Vishal’s family has been settled in South Africa for three generations. Vishal’s journey as an artist began at the age of four, driven by his deep connection to Hindu culture and spirituality. Despite not receiving formal training, his natural talent flourished. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the Durban University of Technology, he continued his passion for devotional paintings alongside his profession.

Vishal Mothilall explains, “As an artist, I am deeply fascinated by the rich Hindu culture I belong to. Growing up in South Africa, I developed a strong connection to Hindu scriptures and deities. Each deity, as portrayed in our sacred texts, embodies beauty, symbolism, transformation, and strength. I believe art transcends language barriers, speaking directly to the soul, creating change, and bringing new awareness. My paintings are expressions of my imagination, aiming to convey a spiritual message and inspire a purposeful life.”

Vishal gained recognition in South Africa after some of his paintings were featured on national television, leading to participation in several international cultural exhibitions. His connection with India began when an Indian businessman discovered his paintings on Facebook and commissioned a Lord Krishna piece for his household shrine. Vishal’s unique style and acclaim led to prominent profiles in Mumbai purchasing his works, and his paintings were displayed on street hoardings during his all visit.

Drawing inspiration from the legendary Raja Ravi Varma, India’s revered painter who popularized religious art, Vishal has created several masterpieces depicting Sri Vithal Rukmani, Lord Shiva, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Krishna, and more. “My hope is to bring the divine experience to the world through my art,” says Vishal.

Vishal’s portraits of Shiv Parvati, Sri Srinathji, Lord Krishna, Goddess Lakshmi & Saraswati, Maa Durga, and Sita are notable for their calm and benign expressions. For instance, he has depicted Goddess Durga slaying the demon Mahishasur, not in the usual angry avatar, but with a serene demeanor. Another painting shows Maa Amba dressed in saffron, performing the Garba after vanquishing the demon, while Devi Lakshmi is depicted as an adolescent, with coins randomly falling from her palms and a half-closed lotus beneath her.

“For me, my paintings are more than brush strokes; they are expressions of my Tapas and devotion,” adds Vishal. “The colors come together to capture pure emotions and devotion.” He believes there is immense potential for religious art in India, as people are deeply devoted to deities and eager to obtain and preserve these divine paintings as part of their religious collections for worship”.

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