He paints of roads he travels

Art Issue 143 Oct, 2013
Text by Isha Gharti

Bhairaj Maharjan, a simple, humble and devoted artist talks about his work and the inspiration behind them.

As a young boy, Bhairaj Maharjan sketched stories of movies for friends who would be captivated by what the sketches narrated. Encouraged by his little audience, the young Bhairaj grew up to be an accomplished artist, now narrating his own stories to a wider audience; one that’s captivated by what his canvases offer.

Maharjan started as a figurative artist focusing on quick sketch portraits of the simple villagers he would meet frequently on Valley outskirts. “Their innocent and welcoming smiles made me go back to them repeatedly,” says the artist. It was his marriage though that brought about a change in his painting style. “It was not a conscious effort. It happened so naturally that I didn’t even notice it. The women in my paintings started becoming more urban and expressive; even my friends told me the women started looking like my wife,” he says. That was when he realized how personal an expression art really is. This realization has directed the artist in him to this day.

As a member of Kasthamandap art group since its inception 20 years ago, he went on a trekking expedition in 2005 to the Annapurnas. Struck by the majestic beauty of the various places, he was so inspired that he let it all out on canvas (Transition, A passage of time). More recently, his paintings have become more about his personal longing for change, for solitude and for a harmonious balance between them. He expresses these desires through paintings based on social episodes such as one based on the people’s movement, as imagined through the eyes of the Buddha.

An introvert by nature, he converses best through his work: “My work is the best way to communicate with myself as well as society as a whole. It is my sincere hope and effort that my paintings make a contribution to society in any way they can.”


  •   Amongst all his exhibitions, Mr Maharjan’s most memorable one is a solo local exhibition where a single art collector bought almost all of his work.
  •     A few years ago, he was in Holland for his exhibition (Search of immortality) when he was moved by the words of an elderly gentleman who thanked him saying the artist had created a particular painting just for him and it would be his honor to keep it with him for the rest of his days.
  •     In 2007, he was pleasantly surprised in the U.S. where prominent artists compared his work with the work of renowned painter Nathan Olivera.