Sachin Tendulkar has been an icon to many across all ages, either motivating them to take up cricket or inspiring them with his dedication. And city-based artist Venkatesh Kandunoori only thought it natural to pay his respects to the cricketing legend using his 4×4.5-foot mixed media painting, which captures the cricketing legend’s sporting journey.
Elaborating on what inspired him to come up with the artwork, the postgraduate in fine arts from JNTU who’s also a former national-level kabaddi player says, “I conceived this idea in 2009, and it took me six months to complete the work. The painting reflects upon Sachin’s ODI and Test cricket journeys. On three stumps, there are portraits of Sir Donald Bradman and Vivian Richards, who I believe are the only two cricketers who can be compared to Sachin. The painting also has the images of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda, the two eyes of the nation.”
Signs of greatness
But Venkatesh has more plans with the painting. He’s been travelling around the country to get signatures from 150 international cricketers and celebrities across different fields. He is now awaiting an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to complete the painting.
“I want this painting to be known to the celebrities. Also, I hope by getting their autographs, this could become a Guinness World Record. As of now, I have got signatures of Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, PV Sindhu, Sania Mirza, Pranab Mukherjee, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ratan Tata, K. Chandrashekar Rao, the Chief minister of Telangana and AR Rahman” says Venkatesh.
Interestingly, one of the signatories includes Sachin himself. Talking about his encounters with celebrities he says, “My most recent celebrity signature and encounter was with Rajinikanth when he came to the city few days ago. He was pleased with the concept and asked me to continue the good work,” shares the 32-year-old artist, who gifts portrait sketches of the celebrity he takes the signature of for the painting. Venkatesh’s gift for Narendra Modi will be a bronze sculpture of Sardar Vallab Bhai Patel.
Then once he achieves 150 signatures, he wants to raise funds by auctioning and spend that money on setting up an exclusive sports club to popularise rural games such as kabaddi and kho kho.