Mukesh Thapa -The Himachali Artist Who Paints With Just One Strand of Hair
What Dharamsala-based artist Mukesh Thapa does is a gift of the Almighty. How else would you explain his extraordinary ability to create art out of a single strand of hair? It is more astonishing to know that Thapa is a natural at it. He isn’t trained in the art of painting, and thus, is a living wonder. Now that we know about his unique art of painting, let’s get to know more about this exceptional human being.
Mukesh was born in the Kangra region of Himachal Pradesh, on March 29, 1979. He fell in love with the art of painting at the age of 6. Interestingly, Thapa has never been trained in painting, or any art from for that matter. He has never gone to school or any other institution. Initially, he used to turn cardboards and other waste materials as his canvas before he finally got an easel and canvas to unleash his creativity.
“I had a natural penchant for art since childhood. I was in sixth standard, when I got appreciation from my teachers and friends. This motivated me further,” he told a source.
His passion of painting burned like a fire, somewhere inside, which explains that he decided to become a professional painter, and successfully became one. However, winning the first prize in a painting competition in 1992 motivated him enough to go professional with his then hobby.
What started as a passion has now become a living, and Thapa can’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of his life, even though, sometimes, it takes more than 6 months to complete a painting.
Thapa, currently, works for more than 15 hours a day, yes, and is known to be full of energy all the time. Perhaps, it’s true, when you do what you love, you are always charged up!
So, how did the thought of painting with a strand of hair came to Thapa? Well, he says he wanted to do something unique with his art. It took a lot of hard work and patience to come up with his first painting made with a paint brush made from the hair of his beard. He made his own portrait with it.
With time, he painted landscapes, portraits and abstract pieces as well and each one of his paintings speaks of his talent and dexterity. Over time, Thapa has created more than 600 paintings. No wonder he has earned countless awards and accolades for his creations.
He found a place in the Limca Book of Records in 2012 for his self-portrait, the one he painted with a strand of hair plucked from his beard. Additionally, he holds records in 10 books of records, including World Record Association, Asia Book of Records, Everest World Record Nepal, Creative World Record Nepal and Unique World Records.
He has also participated in a number of painting and art competitions and exhibitions. Roerich Art Gallery Nagger, Kullu and Richeson 75 figure/portrait exhibition in US are a few of them.
In 2015, Mukesh was honored with the Bold Brush Award, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the US for his extraordinary contribution in the field of art. His painting was chosen as the winner from 1400 painitings. There was also a research paper written on his career, in the Kurukshetra University.
His paintings are exhibited in his art gallery at Shyam Nagar in Dharamsala. “This art gallery will be for everyone. There will be a one level system. Anyone can come and enjoy my work,” he says.
For him, his art is God, and he refuses to put a price on the. To him, his art is priceless, and we can’t agree more!