Sharjah-based Indian painter Laitu’s life adds colour to his art - GulfToday

Sharjah-based Indian painter Laitu’s life adds colour to his art

Laitu art 2

Artist Laitu poses with his painting.

Raghib Hassan, Staff Reporter

It is pouring art in Dubai. Artists from across the globe and locally with their finest compositions are in Dubai. Visitors in Dubai were having terrific time at the 14th edition of Art Dubai, DIFC, which has concluded and now at World Art Dubai at World Trade Centre. The red carpet has been rolled out this season for artists and art connoisseurs. It was indeed refreshing to see so much of creativity all around. In an era of global pandemic, the exhibition offers a refreshing experience for visitors.

While walking through galleries, you see lots of artworks and also get to know the journeys and inspirations of the artists.  One such artist who stands out for his passion and infectious energy is Anjini Prakash Laitu. He is a Sharjah-based Indian painter, who picked up paint and brush seriously, only after 40 years of a successful professional career in the UAE and India.


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He is 80-years-old; but his energy is simply extraordinary. Even today, he paints almost five hours a day — which shows his commitment.  You can feel his passion for his love when he starts talking. He talks as if he has just picked up his brush for the first time! You won’t realise that you are talking to a man who has seen all shades and colours of life. Needless to say, he is highly respected and one of the most loved artists in UAE art circles. Sharing the secret of his artistic and social success with Gulf Today, he said: “Every morning I work for 3-4 hours. I follow it like a religious ritual. Only on weekends I don’t paint; I spend time with my family.”

When asked how he manages the lockdown period or the restrictions Covid-19 had enforced last year, he replied: “I worked more than what I had been doing in the past. In the first half of last year, from January to June, I made nearly 46 paintings. Because I could not go out, therefore, could not meet anybody. But I feel it was a good period for my work.” He added: “People are talking about recession, but it was very good year for painting. I found many takers for my works.”

Laitu art 1 Artist Laitu poses with his painting.

When asked what keeps him so positive and cheerful, he said, “if you are busy in your work and don't think bad for anybody, then you will always be happy.

"If you feel good for everybody, then the Almighty will also bless you. That’s what I have been following throughout of my life and I always advice the same to people.”

One of his paintings titled “Painting without Paints” has got huge applause at World Art Dubai. Talking about it he said: “I have used unconventional materials from kitchen, like turmeric powder, coal dust, chili powder, white chalk, beetroot. But this is not for the first time I used kitchen materials for my painting.”

He noted that “there was a period in my life when I must have been 15 or 16, when material for painting in India was not easily available for average middle class people. I am talking about 1950s or 60s.  "Getting a pair of canvases or colours was simply not possible in small town. Very few companies would produce paints in India then.

"So I started using materials from the kitchen and coal dust. I did many paintings using such materials in those days.”

A member of Emirates Fine Art Society, Anjini’s fascination with colours is quite visible in his works. He said: "I believe in two things —  colour and sweets. These two things are my all time favourites.” Sharing his advice to those who want to take up painting as a career, he said: “If you want to take up a job like designer, teacher, textile painter or interior designer, then it is fine. But if you want to start as an independent painter, then it is going to be tough.  "You have to think twice before exploring this territory. You need to be financially very sound. It is not easy to sell painting, because there are lots of painters. "People think M F Hussain and Ram Kumar made much money by making only paintings. But they don't think everybody can become like them.

"Only two or three people out of 1,000 can be very successful in this field. It is like everyone can’t become Bollywood superstars like Dilip Kumar or Rajendra Kumar.” Recalling his old days he said: “Earlier, in my youth, I would play billiards. I was good at that. I would go from Sharjah to Deira just to play billiards — and that was fun.”

Thanking his fans, friends and admirers, he said: “I can’t tell you how much love and respect people shower on me wherever I meet them.  "I have 2,500 young fans in Dubai who are connected with me through Facebook. I am a retired person and getting this much respect from them is amazing and unthinkable.  "I might have got such respect if I was working in a corporate perhaps. But post-retirement, so much attention is awesome. And it is all because of my paintings!"

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