Journey of being Honored with the Padma shri Award - Krishn Kanhai

Journey of being Honored with the Padma shri Award

In my recent exhibition– Kalaa Spandan (Mumbai) , I met many Artists, one of them was Padma shri Krishn Kanhai.
I was very eager to know about his  journey of being an Artist. His art work is mesmerizing and there is no doubt as he was born and bought up in Krishna’s Nagri – Vrindavan   

Mr Kanhai was born in 1961 in  a middle class family, he is blessed with the colorful life, as his father was a kanyai Artist and was a well known chitrakaar of Vrindavan. He had earned his name in the world of paintings with all beautiful and spellbinding paintings of Lord Krishna.


Mr Kanhai’s interest in the creativity started with the small drawings on black board, his classmates believed, he has received the creativity from his father as a blessing. His father owned a shop where they sold showpieces and very creative Krishna paintings.

His career of being an Artist started at a very early age, he helped his father in making the paintings, slowly with the practice he became master in his genre. After passing class 10th in 1976, his father told him to leave studies and be a full time Artist, he did, as this was his interest too.


At the age of 16 he got married and at 20 he had kids, Kanhai says he was burdened with responsibilities at a very early age and missed fun of the bachelor, carefree life

The major challenge for him now was – To make his own identity in the world of paintings (as till now he was known by his father’s name).
Once on his visit to Calcutta, he met their acquaintance – Mrs kiran Kharuka,she showed him a book with lots of images (from Indonesia)  and told him to make a 4’*5’ painting, she told she will not give any advance, if she liked the painting, she will buy.

Kanhai took this as a challenge and created a master piece, later Mrs Kiran bought that in Rs10,000/- and asked him to make another painting worth Rs.5,000/-  
This boosted his confidence and made him believe that he can create anything.

In 90’s he thought, how will he earn his name?
He started to pick up a complete different style other than his father. He started painting village scenes,  2007 he experimented with Fusion and Portraits.





He conducted many solo National level exhibitions. 21 March 2003, he met Atalji (Prime Minister, India) and gifted him his Potrait. 
In another meeting with Atalji, he asked “Where he hung the potrait”  
Atalji replied – “visit my office, I will let u know”
He visited
Potrait was hung just outside Atalji's cabin, in the waiting room, Atalji complimented him saying – "Sometimes I get confused and think who is the real me?"


30Jan 1999, he exhibited in PM’s house.
2000 he gifted a painting to Bill Clinton

For all his dedication and Hard work, he was awarded Padma shri in 2004, his father had earned the same title in 2000.

Thank you Sir, for sharing few moments of your life with me J



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