Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Portrait of a Stamp Artist

The Indian Express website features a story about Chitta Ranjan Pakrashi, 91, who has been designing postage stamps for more than five decades.

Reporter Priyanka Kotamraju writes, "In two big frames, 54 stamp originals are arranged chronologically, from 1956 to 2008. His originals would fetch a pretty sum. His first stamp, issued in 1956 for the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti, is trading at Rs 525 on the Philsensex, the price having quadrupled in just as many years. Pakrashi though, is dismissive; his time occupied by more pressing concerns — his art exhibition in the capital in November, editorial work with a privately circulated Bengali quarterly Hindol, his account of the Bengalis in Delhi which is being serialised in another magazine, and taking his memoir A Stamp is Born to publishers."

According to the article, "In 1955, a government advertisement calling for design entries on the occasion of the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti caught his eye. He had never worked on stamps before, the proportions and requirements were lost on him. And he knew little of the religion. Despite these obvious handicaps, he won the nationwide competition (and Rs 1,000 in cash). His design was issued on a two-anna stamp, 'at that time widely circulated', he says. The design was a nod to a frequently recurring and revered motif in the Buddhist lore — the Bodhi tree."

Shown above, Pakrashi's winning design that got him started.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM