The Devotional Art by Kamal Ahmed M. [JAN 2019 – JUN 2019]

We are excited to present this solo show by the artist Kamal Ahmed from Karnataka in South India. From the moment I saw his work, several years back with Mr R.G. Singh at Ramsons Kala Pratishtana in Mysore, I fell in love with his style and unique renditions of Krishna’s pastimes.

In order to have enough works for a solo show, we commissioned from him a series on the Ramayana (the story of Lord Rama), on the avatars (God’s incarnations) and on the devas (the demigods). To produce this body of work, he dived into each subject, perfectly capturing the essence of each pastime with his unique style. His work is very stylised, resembling illustrations for a book or even a comic. The forms and colours make for a carnival of experience, giving the stories his pictures represent new life and meaning.

His Muslim background did not at all prevent him from entering the Hindu world of the various manifestations of God and the demigods, showing us that true devotion and spirituality supersedes our birth religion. This also shows that India is a fertile land for all religions and that the interaction between them is often a positive and enriching one.

We are certain that the European and Indian diaspora visitors to Radhadesh will enjoy the works of Kamal Ahmed, and discover wonderful renditions of all the subject matters he has presented. We hope that in this time of stress, tension, violence, intolerance, and bigotry Kamal Ahmed’s works bring joy, peacefulness, tolerance and inclusiveness; in other words – what sacred art is meant to convey.

Martin Gurvich
Director Museum of Sacred Art – MOSA


Kamal Ahmed M

Kamal Ahmed M. was born in 1968 in Gadag, Karnataka in South India. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in fine arts from Karnataka University, Dharwad. He specialised in Indian traditional painting and works as an art teacher while also continuing with his own practice as an artist.

Rooted in the soil, the work often in miniature format and featuring somewhat otherworldly creatures, endows his compositions with a fantasy. A subtle touch of reality appears alongside sacred renditions that are marked for their fine workmanship inspired by regional folk forms.

The artist’s work has been featured in exhibitions held in different Indian cities. It has won him a number of awards including Gold Medal at the annual exhibition at Mini Vidhana Soudha, Gulbarga, the Prathibha Ratna Award of K.V. Parishath, Gadag and the Best Traditional Painting Award Half Tola Gold Medal, organised by Kannada University, Hampi. His work is held in several private and public collections including the Ramson’s Kala Prathisthana at Mysore, Lalit Kala Akademi Delhi, and Government Museum at Devanagari among others. The artist is based in Udupi and works from his studio there.