By Al Gord
Amogh Katyayan was born and raised in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. Growing up in a traditional Indian household, he was encouraged by his parents to become an engineer or a doctor. He followed his parents’ wishes and went to school, graduating with a degree in Engineering. His career as an engineer provided numerous opportunities for Amogh to live and experience cultures in various countries and continents. Eventually these travels took him to Canada, more specifically Calgary, Alberta where he now lives.
With his busy career and life, it did not leave Amogh time to practice his art. Interestingly, his mother, at the age of 65, decided to pursue a childhood passion – painting. She signed up for art classes. To support his mother Amogh signed up as well. The classes reignited his desire to create. He knew that deep inside of him, his inner artist was calling. Not having had any formal art training, he experimented with various styles and techniques. Overtime he found his niche. Combining acrylic paint, gesso and coloured pastels, Amogh approaches each painting with no pre-determined ideas or concepts.
Comparing his painting technique to looking for images in the clouds, Amogh begins with a blank canvas. As he layers on the initial coat of paint to create texture and colour, he starts to see shapes and figures emerge from the paint. This is the foundation from which his paintings develop. With the freedom his open-minded approach brings, his art takes on a life of its own. From the images Amogh initially sees; his paintings take on stories, issues, and experiences to which others can relate.
Amogh is currently working on is his “Common Man” series. The main subject in each piece, “Our Hero”, depicts the daily life of a person in different scenarios. Some of the paintings represent everyday tasks like running or dog walking. Others show the more adventurous side such as his “Cliffhanger” or “Ropewalker” pieces, while others show the challenges and pressures in as seen in his “Rising Corporate Ladder” painting.