I took up art as a method to overcome my inner conflicts. I feel that art and life are inseparable.” — Alphonso Doss

A sprite 65-year-old from Chennai, India, Alphonso Doss represents the archetypal bachelor painter who has dedicated his lifetime to his passion for as long as his health, his vision and his hands support him. Doss was born in Bangalore. His parents, recognising his talents, sent him off to the Madras School of Art at an early age. Doss completed his Diploma in Fine Arts and was awarded the Government of India Cultural Scholarship for further studies. He has been practising and teaching art for more than 40 years now. In 1966, Doss was appointed as an instructor of the same college he went to. Other than creating some masterpieces like a recent study on Nataraj, Doss has been honoured with the National Academy Award in 1968 and the Cultural Doctorate in Arts Education from World University, USA.

Doss’ art has travelled round the world and his paintings are kept in museums and galleries at USA, Holland, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and UK. His is a blend of ancient Indian and modern European art. This is Doss’ first visit to Nepal. An exhibition of 25 paintings made by Doss is being held at the Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babar Mahal Revisited, from August 5. The event is organised by the Embassy of India, BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, Siddhartha Art Gallery and Prakrit Arts, Chennai, to celebrate the 59th Indian Independence Day. For his next exhibition, Doss goes to the US.

Fact file

Name: Alphonso Doss

Occupation: Painter

Style: Realistic

Inspirations: Church art

Influences: Devi Prasad Rai Chaudhary, Abhinendra Nath Tagore, KCS Panicker, Santana Raj, Munuswami, Dhanapal

Favourite art: Bengal School, Bombay School, madras Art Movement, Bombay Progressive Group, Tribal Art and Paintings by Raza and Shanti Dave

Interests: Listening to music, watching people doing funny activities, reading books on art, talking to children and observing everything around

On Nepal: I love thankas and mandalas since they have colours that are very evenly distributed on a two-dimensional base.

On success: The success of an artist depends on how people react to their art.