Art has the power to uplift, inspire and awe us; all at the same time. 22-year-old Gattem Venkatesh’s pieces of art are doing just that. As they say, ‘God is in the details’, Venkatesh carves and makes miniature art out almost anything-pencil lead, bangles, match sticks and what not. At the age of 19, Venkatesh made an impressive entry into the very prestigious Guinness Book of world records.
Venkatesh believes that art knows no bounds. He doesn’t believe that children should be deprived of learning to express themselves through art just because they belong to an economically weaker background. Keeping this mind, he teaches art and crafts to government school students. Through his classes and art camp which he organises in regular intervals has helped about 10,000 students till now.
‘God is in the details’
It was just after the tenth class board exams when Venkatesh was a regular 14-year-old boy. It was then that he made his first foray into the world of miniature art. His first creation was a miniature of Lord Ganesha which he made out of glass bangles. “My parents saw a spark in me and they offered their complete support. They were, in fact, the ones who pushed me to take this up seriously. Even after eight years now, I continue to get unabetted support from my parents,” Venkatesh told The Logical Indian.
Very often art and craft are considered something which is produced and consumed by people coming from an affluent background. But for Venkatesh, this is proved absolutely incorrect. He hails from an agricultural background, with his family being based out of Chinadoddigallu in Visakhapatnam district. His father is a farmer and mother is a homemaker. Venkatesh, as of now is studying in the fifth year of his architecture course.
Venkatesh’s only tools are a surgical blade and needle. He has designed chessboard, buildings, ships, carved names and much more. In 2017, his name entered the Guinness Book of World Records. He craved the Empire Estate Building on a toothpick in just 21 minutes.
Apart from this, he has won over 100 awards and accolades. Venkatesh mentions that one of the highlights of his life was meeting the then president of India, Pranab Mukherjee and showcasing his art to him.
Taking art to everyone
Venkatesh believes that art should not be restricted to a few people and everyone should be able to enjoy it. Coming from a rural background, Venkatesh has taken upon himself to take art to rural government school students. “I make it a point to take out time and teach students from these schools and teach them. I have taught about 10,000 students till now. As many as 450-500 students have been inspired by this and have used my teachings in their projects.”
Venkatesh, in the long run, wants to make art and craft affordable to learn for all. He says he is constantly working to improve his craft and hopes to make progress every day. “Those who wish to pursue art, I just want to say that nothing other than your perseverance, hard work and concentration matters. I would suggest everyone to hang on and just work to improve every day,” said Venkatesh.
The Logical Indian appreciates Venkatesh for not only pursuing his craft with such passion but also for taking it to young children who might not have the resource but have great aptitude and interest.