Badri Narayan is a thoughtful and reticent artist, who has excelled in the various roles like the perennial storyteller, the creator of auspicious symbols, and the loving teacher, sans any pretentions. Like his persona, his paintings probe and bear testimony to the peculiar human predicament. During his illustrious career filled with many milestones, he has always deeply introspected about his art and life. A streak of self-reflection coupled with an honest autobiographical perspective is the driving force behind his wonderful body of work over all these years.
The artist is figured as pilgrim, monk or jongleur; as a wizening questor who is meditating on his paint-brush, or as a scholar professing on the various enigmas of reality, in the second allegory. An aura of freedom and lightness illuminates his recent works even where the artist strikes an introspective undertone. It seems, he reminds himself and the viewer, of the fact that the hard-drawn insight is not reachable merely by the path of suffering alone; there’s also that path of joy to be discovered.
He has been the subject of a documentary by Mumbai All India Radio, and has received numerous awards, including the Padma Shri in 1987 and the Maharashtra Gourav Puruskar in 1990.
Badri Narayan died September 23, 2013 due to frail health, at a hospital in Bangalore.