Mr. Prabhakar Kini is an artist, an entrepreneur and a collector. Even when he doodled with MS Paint, he would come up with Ganapathis. He believes, “Whatever you do, do it well.” This philosophy is clearly visible in this varied collection of Lord Ganapathi sculptures and paintings. He is a collector of not just Ganapathis but also exclusive newspapers and magazines, swarovski crystal figurines and antiques (another post maybe??) But the kind of person that he is (a perfectionist), he realised early on, that he should have more focus and narrow down on his topic for collection. On so deciding, he felt that Ganapathi was an ideal for a collector. Ganapathi known as the ‘Vighnaharta’ is the remover of all obstacles and most of the artists begin with a Ganapathi painting. And as we take a look around the museum, we see that Ganapathi also lends himself easily to an artist’s imagination. With all the stories around Ganapathi, right from his birth to breaking Kubera’s ego, mythology is full of the playful tricks played by Ganapathi. Ganapathi is also a ‘foodie’ (as this generation would refer to Him perhaps) and these times are all about good food and good times.
Having decided on collecting Ganapathi sculptures and paintings, Mr. Kini would always ensure that he added to his collection every month. Many of the pieces come from his regular contacts among antique dealers, some artists and ChitraSanthe organised by Chitrakala Parishat. Initially when he started out, he displayed them at home. When the collection outgrew the space, he shifted to a bigger apartment. But even that was not sufficient for the growing collection. That was when he decided to house his collection separately and is now available at Jayanagar, Bangalore at the ‘Ganesha Vaividhyam’ gallery. An inspiring person, Mr. Prabhakar Kini has an enthusiasm for life that is infectious. I always come away inspired. His collection reflects one man’s passion, dreams and achievements.
Ganapathi was his mom, Parvathi’s favourite as he was her creation. Many paintings here reflect this pure love. He was also very learned, a scholar and a musician . The epic of Mahabharatha was written by Ganapathi as Vyasa dictated it and many of the sculptures here are based on this story. Ganapathi with different musical instruments and in different dance forms can also be seen here. There are no limitations on the materials used either. Right from brass, bronze, copper, wood, coconut, coffee root, bamboo root, granite, jaisalmer stone, marble, shells, conches, precious stones such as coral, jade, metals such as silver and gold, to the humble spare parts from a garage- you will find Ganapathi sculptures and paintings in all these materials and more. Though I did not mean to make such a lengthy video, I had to do justice to the collection and it just went on.
As for the paintings, there are some by famous artists and many by upcoming artists, some are not even signed but they all come together to make a beautiful whole. Mr. Kini has a wonderful collection of Ganapathi paintings in the different folk styles from around India. These include the Madhubani style, Pattachitras, palm leaf engravings, kaavi kale, paintings in the miniature style, with meenakari work, Tanjore style and the Mysore art style. He also has a Ganapathi painting in the thangka style with Ganapathi at the centre, flanked by Buddhas on all sides.
Then off course there are some which were custom made. There is one Ganapathi sculpture that he saw in a picture and commissioned a rose wood carving from Kumta based on the picture, a pot that he asked the artist to paint Ganapathis on, a conch that he found on a beach in the form of Ganapathi. The tiniest off course is the one carved on a rice grain and needs a magnifying glass to view it. And then there was one in brass that I tried to move for a better angle, but it wouldn’t budge.
Not limited to India, there are Ganapathi sculptures and paintings from Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia. There is a postage stamp from Nepal and a currency note from Indonesia. He also has a range of books on Ganesha. There are not just the traditional but also the quirky. A Humpty Dumpty Ganapathi, a Laptop Ganapathi, a Mobile Ganapathi, Ganapathi as Santa Claus, as an Englishman, a lawyer, a landlord, a doctor…ufff..The list is endless.
Ganapathi as Krishna, Ganapathi in the Dashavatara (which is originally Vishnu’s ten forms), as a Yakshagana( a folk art from Tulunadu) character….there are just so many. You have to check out the video to see all of them and maybe visit the gallery with a prior appointment to see it yourself. Believe me, you need at least 3 hours to experience the beauty and soak in all the variety here. I am totally happy that Kinimam is related to me and I have visited the gallery on many occasions. And my dear readers, you are truly lucky to have had a glimpse of this one person’s love for Ganapathi sculptures and paintings on stringsofheritage. And I have to mention that Kinimam and his daughter Vidya Shanbhag (who is also my dear friend) obliged me every time I was trying out my non-existent photography and videography skills. Thank you so much for having shared your love for Ganapathi with me and my readers. May Lord Ganesha bless us all.
Lots of twinkles to all of you.
Have a great weekend.
PS- Those in Bangalore, and interested to visit the gallery may write to Stringsofheritage.