Hema Upadhyay and lawyer's murder: Chintan's artistic journey continues in jail

Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 07:26 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Encouraged by prison authorities, Chintan finds an outlet in art, tutors others inmates

Chintan seen at Hema Upadhyay's funeral in December 2015. File pic
Chintan seen at Hema Upadhyay's funeral in December 2015. File pic

Well-known contemporary artist and sculptor, Chintan Upadhyay, accused of killing his estranged wife Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani, has been painting his pains in Thane Central jail, where he has been since December 2015.

Thane Central jail Superintendent Harshad Ahirrao said he has been painting and training prisoners for a long time. "His work has impressed prison authorities. Nearly two months ago, we started a workshop for inmates where Chintan trains 20 prisoners. Prison authority provides canvas and other materials. Most of the prisoners started dabbling in art under his supervision. Half a dozen have become experts," said Ahirrao.

Chintan's artistic journey in jail began in 2017 when prison authorities, worried about his continually low spirits, picked up his file and realised he is an artist.

Chintan’s painting depicted a zebra behind bars. FILE PICChintan's painting depicted a zebra behind bars. File pic

"Senior officers visited the jail and asked him if he wants to paint. He was unwilling at first, but everyone convinced him to do it to help ward off depression. We didn't know all the facts of his case and for us, he is just an under-trial. He was provided with art materials a few days after that conversation," an official said.

Chintan paints on themes of incarceration and freedom. One of his noted works is a 6x5 ft painting made by joining two canvas frames together. It depicted an incarcerated zebra, bleeding from its hooves. He has trained over 100 prisoners during his time in jail.

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