Viraj Naik was born in Goa in 1975. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in painting from the Goa College of Art in 1998, and later Master’s degree from the University of Hyderabad in 2000.
A proficient printmaker, Viraj Naik’s medium of choice are acrylics and watercolours. His works, often figurative, emanate a distinct Goan feel. The artist is very well-known for his drawings, etchings and sculptures of hybridised subjects that are inspired by mythology and folk lore. Amalgamating the human and the animal in his works, Naik believes, “There is no difference between man and animal. We are also animals.” His paintings which are an exploration of the dark or beastly side of man are a reflection of our own internal psyche.
In many ways, Naik’s pictures are communicative in nature, compelling the viewer to make sub-conscious associations between his metamorphosed subjects and real life. His work is infused with a palpable sharpness and mimics the state of society as it unfolds before him.
Naik was awarded the Young Artists Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture in 2001. He has held several solo shows, the most recent ones being, hosted at Travancore Palace by Gallerie Nvya, New Delhi, in 2007; Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007; Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, in 2006 among others.