Vincent Van Gogh had said: “In an artist’s life, death is perhaps not the most difficult thing.”
Eminent painter Wasim Kapoor had to endure a difficult childhood. The sufferings have been reflected in his paintings. At the age of 71 on Monday, the popular painter breathed his last in Kolkata following a massive cardiac arrest.
He was active even the previous night, a family member said. He is survived by his two brothers, his sister-in-law and niece, they said.
His family friend, eminent doctor Fuad Halim told news agency PTI that the artist had been plagued with heart problems in the past but those had been addressed and he had attended an art event even last month.
Kapoor was born in Lucknow on January 3, 1951. But he didn’t have a normal childhood. When he was six months old, he fell off the bed and injured himself. For the next 12 years of his life, he was restricted to the bed. He spent most of his time looking out of the window. Through the window, he saw the people, the sky and the sun.
The window was his world. He wanted to capture those views in his paintings. His father brought him his first painting brush and book. Given his son’s dedication towards painting, Kapoor’s father got him a teacher.
This was the start. Gradually, Wasim received training in painting under Jamini Roy, Atul Basu, Paritosh Sen, Debi Prasad Chowdhury, and Maqbool Fida Husain. Having been closely associated with such rare gems, Wasim never forgot his teacher Amar Nandan. He was instrumental in admitting Wasim to the art college at the age of 15. Using a crutch, he went to college and in the first year, his paintings found a place in exhibitions.
He secured a first-class diploma in fine arts from the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Kolkata in 1971. It didn’t take long for the talented artist to carve a niche in Kolkata’s painter fraternity with his regular solo exhibitions from the early 70s.
Kapoor had shifted to Kolkata with his family and embraced the city, the workplace of many celebrated artists.
Kapoor was acclaimed for his series ‘Kolkata Rickshawpullers’, on Bollywood divas from the era of the ’70s to ’90s and lockdown blues in different times.
A recipient of a number of awards, his works found appreciation both domestically and internationally. His painting on late Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu is well known. He has painted several eminent personalities of West Bengal.
You will find loneliness, suffering, pain in most of Kapoor’s paintings. This might be due to his lonely childhood, which he mostly spent being restricted to the bed. In several interviews, he had said: “I live with depression.”