Artist combats cancer with the help of his paintbrush

Updated: Dec 26, 2017, 12:25 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani | Mumbai

In 2009, Kartikey Sharma was diagnosed with cancer. That was also the year he had his class 12 exams, both of which he went on to triumph

In 2009, Kartikey Sharma was diagnosed with cancer. That was also the year he had his class 12 exams, both of which he went on to triumph. Sharma then studied mechanical engineering at Pune's Symbiosis Institute of Technology, and while there, he started painting murals in figurative and surreal styles on commission.

Abstracts by Kartikey Sharma
Abstracts by Kartikey Sharma

In February 2016, Sharma was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and had to start his treatment again, which continues till today. "The treatment is painful. The medicines drive you crazy. Plus, I have to be in absolute isolation as my immunity is low. You lose touch with people and there is a lot of anger all the time. I have forgotten how to deal with people and my endurance level is not great. But when I am painting, though it does not calm me down completely, it is a medium through which I can let my emotions out easily," says the 25-year-old. In the last two years, Sharma has been documenting the journey of his cancer treatment as abstract art on canvas. Twenty-six of these works have been put up at an exhibition, Canvas against Cancer.

Kartikey Sharma
Kartikey Sharma

Sharma never learnt art professionally. "I was good in studies, so I was expected to get into engineering. I spent time with a lot of artists in Pune. I am friends with professors from Sir JJ School of Art, and they let me sit for classes during my summer vacations in Mumbai," says the young artist.

Sharma also writes when he isn't painting and wants to publish a book about his journey one day. He aims to support his treatment through the sale of these works. "When I came to Mumbai for treatment, most of the time I spent was with myself. In my kind of treatment, where you can't see much progress, you don't have the motivation to go to the next session. And when I finish a painting, those are my days of small accomplishments. That's how I have a motive in life."

TILL: January 2, 11 am to 7 pm
AT: Colaba Arts, opposite BDD Chawl, Gala Woodworks Compound, Worli.
CALL: 9867461341

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